After a week of public protests in the Amur River basin works on the Trans-Siberian hydro power plant are to be suspended in the nearest future, novostienergetiki.ru report with reference to the official statement of EN+ company and World Wide Fund for Nature.
The Russian office of WWF managed to sign an agreement with EN+ on carrying out the asessment the Amur River with the aim of defining its hydro potential and possible risks connected with the construction of the new hydro power plants. The exploration works will take all the time remaining till the end of the current year: “To carry out the investigation WWF Russia and EN+ will create a working group, which will prepare the technical specifications for doing the integral assessment as well as will engage the competent subject matter experts and the representatives of the scientific community. The investigation is planned to be completed by the end of 2012”, the joint statement say.
Until obtaining the results of the investigation Eurosibenergo and ENare to suspend their hydropower planning activities in the Amur’s tributary Shilka river. The final decision on the destiny of the Trans-Siberian hydro power plant will be taken only after obtaining the integral conclusions and assessment of the environmental risks.
The EN+ CEO Artem Volynets pointed out in the process of communicating with the press representatives that his company “is one of the biggest investors into the economy of the Eastern Siberia, within the next fifteen-twenty years the companies belonging to EN+ Group are going to invest over twenty five billion dollars into the new Siberian projects in the fields of metallurgy, energy industry and ore mining industry. The cooperation with WWF, one of the most established environmentalist organizations in the world will ensure our projects including the ones in the energy sector complying with the highest eco-standards, and the economy of the Eastern Siberia will grow according to the principles of sustainable development”.
In his turn, Evgeniy Shvarts, the head of Conservation Policy at WWF Russia emphasizes the fact that such strategic assessment of environmental risks in the hydro power enterprise will be carried out for the first time not only in the history of Russia but in the history of the USSR as well. Evgeniy Shvarts told the journalists that “It is important to minimize he negative environmental impact while developing the energy industry infrastructure in the basin of the river Amur – the ecological region having the top priority for saving its bio diversity. In the course of our dialogue with EN+ company we can reach the strategic synergic effect by means of the combined use of various types of electrical energy generation – lower the total environmental impact of the energy industry and provide saving the unique environmental assets of the region. We hope that the dialogue and cooperation with the company will be able to demonstrate the necessity of legislative recognition of the best international instruments – the strategic environmental assessment in the practice of infrastructural development of our country”.
According to Schwartz, the priority thing here for WWF is to demonstrate that the environmental responsibility is first of all the most important condition for the sustainable development in the economy and business, which is so often spoken about.
The plans of building a new hydro power plant on the Amur’s tributary – the Shilka river were first announced in February 2012. The project of the Trans-Siberian Hydro Power Plant raised an immediate interest in China Yangtze Power Company – the Chinese power giant, the owner of the biggest HPP in the world – Three Gorges Dam.