• Russian fossil-fired plants facing equipment and expertise shortages due to COVID-19 restrictions

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Russia has become another country to face problems to do with servicing power plants, as Reuters reports. Foreign equipment and expertise is usually required to maintain the country’s coal and gas-fired power plants, but as foreigners are barred from entering the country at present, there is a risk that a lack of servicing will eventually translate into disruptions of power supply. Italian gas turbine maker Ansaldo Energia, General Electric, and Finland’s Fortnum are three companies that supply services to the Russian energy sector, and Siemens is also a supplier of gas turbines to power stations across Russia. According to a spokesman from one Russian industry group, a lack of foreign spare parts and specialists could mean delays for 40 power-generating units with a combined installed capacity of 6,000 MW, though Deputy Energy Minister Yevgeny Grabchak has disputed that figure. The ministry is looking for alternative parts suppliers, and some plant inspections are being performed by video. Russia’s nuclear and hydropower sectors are not as dependent on foreign trade and workers, and thus are not as strongly affected by the ban on foreigners.