• 2019 August 19 16:11

    Main phase of Beloomut hydro engineering system rehabilitation project to be completed by the end of 2019, Moscow Canal authority says

    A bidding process has been announced for the development and implementation of the comprehensive project “Reconstruction of Infrastructure Facilities of the Moscow Canal. Phase 2. Reconstruction of Beloomut waterworks. Sub-stage 4", the Moscow Canal press office told PortNews. The Moscow Canal authority plans to select a new general contractor for the completion of construction and installation works in Belomut. Maximum price of the contract is RUB 477,657,958,310.

    If the e-tender takes place and all the procedures for evaluation of bidders applications and summing up the results are completed within the scheduled time, then the conclusion of the state contract with the new general contractor may take place on September 10, 2019. In this case, according to the requirements of the Federal Law “On the contract system in the procurement of goods, work, services to meet state and municipal needs” (dated 04/04/2013, No. 44-FZ), the winner in the tender who will be awarded the contract must begin to fulfill its obligations within 30 days, that is, in the first decade October 2019.

    The main construction and installation works at Beloomut hydroelectric complex, according to the tender documentation, are planned to be completed before the end of 2019. By this time, the general contractor the main dam structures are to be erected, power and control cables for power supply will be laid, and the installation of an automated process control system (APCS) and outdoor lighting system will be completed.

    In addition, builders must finish work on the new lock and at the offices and facilities complex. It is necessary to fill the site with sand, equip access roads, improve the territory, commissioning of the engineering networks and new administrative building.

    Construction and installation work as part of the Oka River Beloomut hydroengineering system rehabilitation was canceled April 9, 2019 due to the bankruptcy of the then general contractor - FSUE ATEX. By that time, 13,the commissioned a year earlier new lock of the system 13.5 thousand vessels passed through the new lock of the hydroelectric station commissioned a year earlier.

    The Moscow Canal is the largest water transport and water management complex, and acts as the inland waterways public authority in 12 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The MC facilities include 235 hydraulic engineering structures and 3842 km of waterways.

    The Beloomut hydroengineering system was built on the Oka River along with the Kuzminsk hydroengineering complex in 1911-1915 to the design developed by Russian engineer Nestor Puzyrevsky. In 2015, the facility rehabilitation project kicked off. The Customer of the project is the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport of Russia, the developer is the Moscow Canal. The project General Designer is Aquatic JSC. The Belomut redevelopment will help solve the problem of shallow water in the Oka River. The new dam should gradually increase the controlling depths by 76 cm and, thus, ensure smooth transits of passenger and cargo vessels. According to the state assignment, Moscow Canal authority maintained controlling depths in the section of inland waterways (on the Oka River from the Beloomut hydroelectric complex to the settlement of Shchurovo and further from the mouth of the Moscow River to the Severka hydroelectric facility) at around 1.7 meters.

    The project of comprehensive rehabilitation of the Belomut, involving the construction of a new water development complex, was launched in 2015. Then a state contract was signed with the General Contractor for construction and installation works worth RUB 5.54 billion rubles. The contract was awarded to ATEX company that was selected in the tendering process.
    According to the new state contract, before January 1, 2019, a modern shipping lock, a permanent dam, automated control system, office and industrial buildings, as well as a water intake unit with two artesian wells and a water treatment system, were to be built on the territory of the old hydroelectric complex.

    In 2017, the first phase of the system rehabilitation was completed, which included the construction of a shipping lock and the first phase of the dam. In 2018, it was planned to complete the dam, the system of transport safety and monitoring of engineering, as well as to carry out landscaping of the territory of the hydroelectric complex and dismantle the old hydraulic structures.

    As the General Contractor encountered financial problems the Beloomut project was not completed on time. Construction and installation work continued until the end of March 2019. By that time, the construction of a new dam was completed, and the entire reconstruction was 90% complete. The work was stopped for the period of 2019 spring flood 2019 and the rehabilitation project was put on hold.

    On October 11, 2018, the Moscow City Arbitration Court initiated a monitoring procedure in relation to the ATEX in the framework of the bankruptcy case of the enterprise. In April 2019, a bank guarantee expired, which was a guarantee of fulfillment of the obligations of ATEX to Moscow Canal under the Beloomut contract. Thus, there were risks of not repaying the outstanding advance payment and writing off other payments to ATEX'S creditors. The reconstruction project of the hydroelectric complex could remain without financing and turn into a never-ending construction project.

    In order to prevent serious financial losses and long-delayed construction in Belomut, on April 9, 2019, in accordance with the requirements of the law, the contract with FSUE ATEX was unilaterally terminated. Thanks to the actions of the Moscow Canal to implement a bank guarantee and penalties imposed on ATEX, the federal budget received RUB 326.8 million, including RUB 179.4 million as fines and RUB 147.36 million as advance payment not fully reimbursed.

    The change of general contractor and the postponement of the completion of the Belomut reconstruction do not affect smooth operation and condition of the facilities. All main elements of the hydraulic engineering system are fully functioning. The old dam works properly, which maintaince the required water level. The new commissioned lock has been operating since the 2018 navigation season. The lock has successfully withstood two floods and has served the second shipping season now.

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