MILAN, Jun 7 (Class Editori) -- The matter has been discussed for over a year and yesterday in St. Petersburg the signature of the joint venture between Ansaldo Energia and Rep Holding, a subsidiary of the Gazprom group, has finally come. The agreement has been propitiated by the entante cordiale between Russia and China, which through Shanghai Electric, is a 40% shareholder of Ansaldo.
Ansaldo and Rep Holding will work together to produce, modernize, repair and provide a complete maintenance and assistance service for large-scale gas and steam industrial turbines in Russia. The range of products offered by the JV will include three complete models of gas turbines manufactured by Ansaldo Energia, with a power ranging between 70 and 340 MW, for energy generation, as well as two models of steam turbines with a power ranging between 40 and 350 MW. The JV will be headquartered in St. Petersburg and production will be located in the current REP Holding plants.
This is a strategic agreement, the value of which has not been declared because the implications are very broad and involve third parties. In fact, Ansaldo Energia will transfer to the JV the exclusive rights to use its technology not only with regard to activities on the Russian territory, but also within the Community of Independent States, which unites 9 of the former 15 Soviet republics in a free trade area, and other countries agreed by the parties.
"The JV will be a mutually beneficial solution for supplying the best components and services to customers in Russia and the CIS countries", commented the CEO of Ansaldo Energia Giuseppe Zampini. For his part, president of Rep Tagir Nigmatulin pointed out that the local component of the contract will be important, as obviously required by the government when it comes to this type of agreements, which are the articulation of the centrally decided economic policy.
"Particular attention will be paid to the location of production and repair activities for the" hot parts "of gas turbines, which involve the use of the most advanced technologies. Therefore, the range of products offered by the JV will be able to meet the latest requirements of the Russian government in terms of location," Nigmatulin explicitly announced.
The technology transferred by Ansaldo includes a complete set of technical documents on gas and steam turbines and the related control systems, which will allow the JV not only to manufacture and modernize the equipment, but also to perform the service and repairs for a wide range of local customers owning industrial turbines.
"The Joint Venture will provide its customers with a complete package of solutions for the entire life span of the machinery based on on-site maintenance and repair activities," explained Nigmatulin.
The alliance strengthens the presence of Ansaldo Energia in Russia, where the group has been operating for over ten years and has already installed other turbines: the first order (70 million euros) in 2007 for three gas turbines, then others in 2013 had yielded an additional 90 million euros for the order backlog; another five turbogas units in 2016 feed one of Europe's largest plants in St. Petersburg today.
The agreement with the company of the Gazprom group could open the doors to the maxi-plan of methanisation of the Russian public and private transports, which was flaunted several times by president of Gazprom Viktor Zukov, whose company is a €100 billion revenue giant.
Zukov has never made any secret of the appreciation towards Italian collaborations, especially of that with Ansaldo Energia, and of the wish to import into Russia the way in which Italy is using methane in the automotive sector. There is more.
In the background there is also the mega Russian-Chinese agreement to bring Russian gas, from Gazprom, to the border with China, with a gas pipeline that by next year is expected to power the Dragon's energy production with 38 billion cubic meters.
And yet the agreement signed yesterday during the Spief, the International Economic Forum of St. Petersburg, to which among other things, the Liguria region was invited as a guest of honor, could also represent the green light for new agreements also on nuclear, a field in which Russia excels, having won a series of contracts for the construction of power plants in Finland, Hungary, Turkey and China.
Ansaldo Energia has a company in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg for service, maintenance and assistance on turbines and power plants activities. The last assignment dates back to 2018, with the maintenance of four turbines and two generators in a power plant.
Sources close to the negotiations have suggested that, among the other countries to which the agreement could be extended, there is also Iran, where Ansaldo has already sold quite a lot in the past but where the latest US sanctions keep other projects blocked, for over 300 million euros.
For this reason, Ansaldo must continue to control that market with its own technologies, before other players from Korea and Japan or even Siemens, which are all but frightened by the embargo decreed by Trump, will come forward.
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