Sergei Borodin is a leading specialist in the renewable wind energy of YUZHMASH.
- Tell us about the prospects in the wind power industry. Is YUZHMASH looking for investors in this regard?
Renewable energy is the future. This is a global trend that has been for a long time. It is only getting stronger over time. There is no doubt about it.
The wind energy sphere has been here at our enterprise for almost 20 years. And all these years we have been looking for investors in our own development. Sometimes we have found it, and then the wind energy production received another impetus for development.
But the natural process of finding investors is a complex matter for any enterprise. Representatives of almost all leading European companies have visited YUZHMASH. Both Japanese and Chinese came. All of them got acquainted with our assembly areas, with a huge landfill in Pavlograd, where the wind turbines can be installed. And none of the potential investors agreed to cooperate.
- What are the reasons?
In our case, everything is complicated by the fact that we are a state-owned enterprise and cannot give the investor the necessary guarantees of a return on investment. Therefore, it is almost impossible to find an investor. They are wary of investing in state-owned companies.
Now the issue of corporatization of the industry enterprises is being addressed. YUZHMASH has been raised the question for many years. We hope that this will happen and we having become the owners of production assets, will be able to agree on something with potential investors.
But even now we find opportunities for cooperation. For example, we have Ukrainian partners who are now doing a project to build an 800 MW wind power station in the Donetsk region at Mariupol. We have signed a cooperation protocol with them. Now you need to start a small enterprise in which the investor can invest. The legislation allows it, you just need to get permission. We have talked about this at the State Space Agency, our governance body. They seemed to understand us, they promised to resolve the issue. But permission was never given.
It turns out that, on the one hand, the investor faces an obstacle, and on the other hand, the governing body is in no hurry to help overcome it.
After corporatization, this problem will disappear.
- What is the situation with the production of wind turbines at YUZHMASH?
We used to have a single unit production. We have made 8 pieces under the state program.
Today, to reach an acceptable level, we need to obtain a license. It can be obtained if the organization of the serial production is from 50 units per year. For this purpose, we need to optimize our internal logistics by gathering production facilities more compactly. Now they are located in different production areas and areas. In addition, we could use the modernization of equipment, which quickly becomes outdated. A separate topic is the production of blades, the length of which has now increased to 60-80 meters. This requires the creation of new production facilities and the development of modern technologies, which, by the way, are quite complex and are kept secret.
- Are we ready to produce such kind of production and in what technology level?
Modern technologies in the production of wind turbines are critical. We can either develop them ourselves or get them from an investor.
We have a successful experience of independent development. We started with the fact that the Yuzhnoye State Design Office has prepared design documentation for the development of units with a capacity of 250 kW. But for their developments, either free working capital is needed, which the enterprise does not have, or a state-funded program, which also does not exist and, it seems, will not be.
Therefore, we need an investor with own technologies or financing. And for his involvement, first of all, the corporatization is necessary. Until we do not have the corporatization, we do not give up and continue to work in this direction. We have certain territorial advantages; we are also negotiating on solar power stations.
- Can we produce the components of solar cells?
Unfortunately, solar cells are being purchased. A plant for the production of solar cells was built in Zaporozhye. They grew monocrystals, the production is according to the latest technology. But, unfortunately, this plant does not work today. We were negotiating with the Chinese about the installation of a production line at our enterprise. But we cannot simply buy it due to the lack of available funds, but receive it as an investment … I have already told about the problem of attracting investments.
In general, we are looking forward to corporatization and continue to do our job.