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Kashagan power grows by 240 MWt

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By Saule Tasbulatova

Gas turbine power generator at KarabatanGas turbine power generator at KarabatanTest and commissioning of six gas turbine power generators, 40 MWt each, took place at Bolashak plant in Karabatan. Two of them are now operating using gas from Makat and generating power for plant’s needs. After the start of oil production they will be receiving cleaned gas from Kashagan field.

At the stage of experimental development, associated gas, found in crude, will be referred to gas plant for desulfurization. Clean gas will also be used in generation of electric power for Bolashak and D Island. The other part will be sold. 
According to NCOC External Relations Manager Pier Delpont, Kashagan project envisages a self-sustained power system.
Despite self-dependence of Bolashak, it is connected to the general power system of the oblast, in case it is short of own energy or needs to discharge excess power, writes Delpont. 
So, operators plan to generate own power. Respectively, prime cost of energy will be many times less than at Kazakhstan’s power market. 
Is there a chance for citizens of Atyrau Oblast to get cheap Bolashak electricity, given it is them who live next to plant torches, if there is overage at Bolashak, of course?
According to 2012 reports, the oblast’s maximum power consumption made 310 MWt. 
Actual capacity of Atyrau’s power generating plant is 223 MWt. 
The gap is filled thanks to MAEK-Kazatomprom, a Kazakh nuclear company, or Russia’s General Power Network, of course for higher prices. 
The combined capacity of Bolashak’s six generators is 240 MWt. More than Atyrau plant produces! 
Will Bolashak cover the province’s peak demand with cheap electricity? 
Alas, the operator thinks it is impossible:
“Availability of backup turbines and generators is a critical moment to ensure reliable operation of field facilities, writes Delpont. – They are needed for peak demands, as well as during scheduled repair works, therefore the generators must be kept in working condition. As backup generators are the critical part of the project, unfortunately, it is impossible to use them for generation of power for public needs. The system is connected to public network solely to compensate units in case of abundance or shortage of power.”
Experts say the idea to use Karabatan’s cheap power is quite realistic:
“Of course, it is possible. But Agip is an oil production company, it has no license to sell electric power. If government considers the issue, they could be given certain load to refer a part of electricity to public network. Virtually, it is possible. ” 
However, the government is now concerned about other priorities. With Expo-2017 in mind, its attention is concentrated on wind power program. 
For instance, it has been stated powerful wind generators will be installed in the west of Kazakhstan shortly. Not bad. But the both can exist together… 
May 2 2013, 15:56

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