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    Russian Economy General News: #13

    kvs
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    Post  kvs Tue Apr 09, 2024 1:53 pm

    Nominal GDP comparisons are totally meaningless.   The PPP is an attempt to compare apples to apples, but even so it is not ideal as we
    see in the case of Russia where swathes of the real economy are missed.   Also, all that financial industry in NATzO that fluffs up its collective
    GDP is worth jack.

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    franco
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    Post  franco Wed Apr 10, 2024 12:03 pm

    The Ministry of Finance reported a significant increase in budget revenues in the first quarter of this year. Both non-oil and gas revenues and revenues from the sale of oil and gas are growing. Moreover, the latter showed phenomenal dynamics. What helps the Russian budget replenish its revenues even above the planned level?

    The Ministry of Finance has disclosed the revenues of the Russian budget for the first time this year. In the first quarter of 2024, they look impressive. The country's revenues increased one and a half times to 8.7 trillion rubles against 5.7 trillion in January – March last year. Expenses have also increased, which the Ministry of Finance associates with accelerated financing of concluded contracts and advances on individual projects.

    As a result, the budget was formed with a deficit of 607 billion rubles, which is almost 1.5 trillion rubles lower than the level of the first quarter of last year.

    Revenues that go to the budget are traditionally divided into oil and gas and non-oil and gas. Both grew in the first quarter of this year. Thus, non-oil and gas revenues increased by 43% to 5.8 trillion rubles. Turnover taxes, including VAT, showed the main growth, and revenues from them exceeded the planned level. VAT receipts increased by a quarter, to 3.4 trillion rubles. This indicates the prosperity and growth of Russian companies, whose business turnover is increasing, due to which more taxes are coming to the budget.

    Planned non-tax revenues of a one-time nature also made a significant contribution to the growth of non-oil and gas revenues, the Ministry of Finance notes.

    Oil and gas revenues showed an even more significant increase compared to last year. They increased by 79% to 2.9 trillion rubles. This increase is mainly due to the increase in prices for Russian oil, as well as the one-time receipt of an additional payment for mineral extraction tax for the fourth quarter of 2023, which was due to a change in legislation regarding the reimbursement of excise duty on crude oil, the Ministry of Finance notes.

    Revenues from the sale of hydrocarbons turned out to be higher than planned by the department. Moreover, the department expects that in the coming months oil and gas revenues will be higher than planned in the budget.

    "Revenues from hydrocarbon exports increased primarily due to the consistently high global price of Brent oil, as well as a reduction in the Urals discount to Brent compared to the discount that was in the first quarter of last year," says Natalia Milchakova, a leading analyst at Freedom Finance Global.

    At the same time, the expert notes that the cost of global Brent crude oil has not changed much over the year: in the first quarter of last year, the average price was 80.9 dollars, and this year it has increased by less than a percent to 81.69 per barrel.

    But it was very important to keep world prices at a high level. And Russia managed to do this together with the actions of OPEC+, despite the dissatisfaction of both the United States and the EU. The states need cheaper oil, as this directly affects the cost of gasoline at American gas stations. Expensive gasoline forces ordinary Americans to accumulate dissatisfaction with the current administration of President Biden, which is dangerous in an election year. EU countries suffer from high prices, as they import hydrocarbons in huge volumes due to the lack of their own.

    On the other hand, an increase in the price of the Russian Urals brand is important for the Russian budget, which turned out to be just significant due to a reduction in the discount to Brent.

    Last year, in the first quarter, the average Urals price fell to about $49 per barrel, because the discount to Brent was huge then, almost $ 31 per barrel. But this year, Russian Urals oil was already sold at an average of $ 67 per barrel, as the discount to Brent fell to an average of $ 17 per barrel, Milchakova notes.

    The beginning of last year was largely a failure, as these were the first months after the European embargo on the purchase of Russian oil and petroleum products. There was a process of searching for new buyers, forming a fleet of carriers, new logistics routes, etc.

    However, since then, the transformation has been completed, new logistics have been adjusted, and Russian oil has two large and regular customers – India and China. And although the discount remains, since Russian oil is still under sanctions, it was reduced almost twice, which ultimately had such a beneficial effect on Russian budget revenues.

    "It turns out that the average Urals price increased in the first quarter of 2024 in annual terms by more than 36%. And this is only one Urals, but Russia also exports other, lighter grades of oil to Asia, in particular, ESPO to China and Sokol to India, whose discount to Brent is no more than $ 15 per barrel. So the average price of Russian oil in the first quarter of this year could be about $70 per barrel. Therefore, in the first quarter, Russia even slightly exceeded the plan for oil and gas revenues," says Natalia Milchakova.

    The prospects for replenishing the budget look optimistic. This is evidenced, among other things, by the ruble value of Russian oil.

    "In the first quarter of 2024, the price of a barrel of Urals amounted to about 6.5 thousand rubles, and last year for the same period it was only 4.2 thousand rubles. So far, the ruble price of Urals is higher than the 6.4 thousand rubles budgeted in the Russian Federation," says Vladimir Evstifeev, head of the analytical department of Zenit Bank.

    "The prospects for the Russian budget are quite positive: if the current trend continues, oil and gas revenues will grow, and the deficit will decrease at least until the end of the third quarter. For a barrel of Brent oil, they now give 89.9 dollars, and for Russian Urals – 78.26 dollars. I believe that in the near future we will see quotes in the range of $ 91 per barrel of Brent and about $ 79 per barrel of Urals. The dollar is currently trading at 92.58 rubles, the euro at 100.49 rubles and the yuan at 13.05 rubles. Here I see the following corridor: up to 91 rubles per dollar, about 99 rubles per euro and 13 rubles per yuan," says Artem Deev, head of the analytical department of AMarkets.

    Even in the case of a lack of income in the second half of the year, the NWF funds are sufficient to cover the deficit, concludes Evstifeev.

    https://k-politika.ru/pochemu-vdrug-vzleteli-doxody-rossijskogo-byudzheta/?utm_source=finobzor.ru#

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    lancelot
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    Post  lancelot Wed Apr 10, 2024 1:48 pm

    The most important factor was the introduction of a price floor on the mineral tax on oil. The obviously manipulated oil price index at the port of sale, as concocted by Western consultancy companies, was leading to losses in tax collection by the Russian state. These were being manually clawed back by the Russian government using windfall tax collection on the Russian oil companies. But collecting taxes like that is suboptimal.

    Russia should also reintroduce the export tax on refined products to tamper down the price of gasoline and diesel in Russia. Stop the exsanguination of refined products which are being exported causing prices in Russia to rise. Another alternative would be mandatory production quotas for gasoline and diesel production which must be satisfied first before any exports of refined products are allowed.

    If there is a need for increased tax revenue, taxes on luxury goods, and a progressive income tax could be introduced.

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    ALAMO


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    Post  ALAMO Wed Apr 10, 2024 2:24 pm

    How are sanctions doing?

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    Hole
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    Post  Hole Wed Apr 10, 2024 5:22 pm

    Pretty good. Most of the EU and the US are in recession.  lol1

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    Post  ALAMO Wed Apr 10, 2024 6:12 pm

    There is a rolling rumor that some collective layoffs are ongoing in the whole of the Polish economy as we speak.
    But in quiet.
    A bulk being the banking sector and industry.
    Hush, hush, carry on, nothing to watch here!

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    Hole
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    Post  Hole Wed Apr 10, 2024 9:57 pm

    Russia needs workers.  Very Happy

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Thu Apr 11, 2024 6:36 am

    It is sad because these are real people that are suffering, but it is made easier to accept because these are the very same people who cheered on sanctions against Russia in the hope of creating this sort of suffering in Russia... or at least didn't object when their politicians and media demonised Russia and Putin.

    But again it is not new... when the EU imposed the first round of big sanctions in 2014 and Putin responded by banning EU food imports into Russia a lot of EU farmers lost their biggest market... some had even taken out bank loans to expand production... many committed suicide after that...

    There is a documentary on RT if you look it up... something about Polish Apples...

    But the EU politicians don't care about farmers or factory workers... it is only the bankers that get bailouts...

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    Post  andalusia Fri Apr 12, 2024 2:14 am

    Just read the comments section, some they Russians are going to starve and that this action is similar to what the Soviet Union did.  

    Why did Russia allow this in the first place? Are there Russian businesses that can do the same thing?



    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/russia-seizes-over-650-000-192617579.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall
    PhSt
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    Post  PhSt Fri Apr 12, 2024 2:28 am

    Andalusia wrote:
    some they Russians are going to starve and that this action is similar to what the Soviet Union did.  

    Russia's agricultural output is among the highest in the world, not sure how Russians are going to starve, this is just another brainwashed Westerner delusion


    Andalusia wrote:
    Why did Russia allow this in the first place? Are there Russian businesses that can do the same thing?

    Not sure what you are trying to ask here, Russia seized a western company in retaliation to western imposed sanctions.

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    lancelot
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    Post  lancelot Fri Apr 12, 2024 3:47 am

    This agricultural company is owned by foreign interests and is located close to the Ukrainian border. The Russian state took it under government control. Operations will continue and staff won't be laid off.

    Considering the amount of Russian private and government property arrested by the G7 countries this is just par for the course.

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    Hole
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    Post  Hole Fri Apr 12, 2024 11:03 am

    ome they Russians are going to starve 
    Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

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    Post  flamming_python Tue Apr 30, 2024 2:16 am

    ALAMO wrote:Mrs. Navalna was in Berlin this weekend.
    At a peak, she gathered around 50 people ...
    Half of them were clearly organizers Laughing
    This comedy can be played only in the west.

    Best part was when she went to vote at the Russian embassy, and all the Ukro-trolls on twitter were whining about her having accomplished nothing but legitimized and brought publicity to Putin's re-election.

    You never know who she really might be working for Twisted Evil
    Including back when she was still together with her husband

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Tue Apr 30, 2024 9:01 am

    You never know who she really might be working for Twisted Evil
    Including back when she was still together with her husband

    I appreciate the suggestion that she might be a pro Russian 5th columnist, but I think the more likely explanation is that she is just incompetent and is working for the people throwing money at her and giving her first class air line tickets when she travels... which at the moment is the west, but when their fiat money system collapses who knows who that might be.

    Regarding this story about seizing farmland, well it is no shock, the west seized western based components of Russian oil companies and misused them for their own purposes.

    This is now a case of western focussed companies or CEOs doing things like go slows or halts to operations to damage Russia and the Russian economy, so of course the Russian government is going to step in and take over and have those organisations return to normal work so the workers can continue to earn money and the business continue to provide products to other companies that rely on them.

    A huge company like McDonalds would close shop and just take the loss of income in the hopes of damaging the Russian market, while Russians taking over ownership can keep the business working with the suppliers providing food and material support keeping their contracts and keep working too.

    Western interests is to damage Russia in any way it can so the Russian government stepping in and stopping them is sensible and not related to seizing assets and property in revenge.... that is yet to come... despite freezing assets and withholding interest earned as essentially being theft anyway.

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    Post  flamming_python Tue Apr 30, 2024 10:22 am

    GarryB wrote:I appreciate the suggestion that she might be a pro Russian 5th columnist, but I think the more likely explanation is that she is just incompetent and is working for the people throwing money at her and giving her first class air line tickets when she travels... which at the moment is the west, but when their fiat money system collapses who knows who that might be.

    Regarding this story about seizing farmland, well it is no shock, the west seized western based components of Russian oil companies and misused them for their own purposes.

    This is now a case of western focussed companies or CEOs doing things like go slows or halts to operations to damage Russia and the Russian economy, so of course the Russian government is going to step in and take over and have those organisations return to normal work so the workers can continue to earn money and the business continue to provide products to other companies that rely on them.

    A huge company like McDonalds would close shop and just take the loss of income in the hopes of damaging the Russian market, while Russians taking over ownership  can keep the business working with the suppliers providing food and material support keeping their contracts and keep working too.

    Western interests is to damage Russia in any way it can so the Russian government stepping in and stopping them is sensible and not related to seizing assets and property in revenge.... that is yet to come... despite freezing assets and withholding interest earned as essentially being theft anyway.

    It's a joke

    Incompetence is often worse than bad intentions russia

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    Arkanghelsk
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    Post  Arkanghelsk Tue Apr 30, 2024 6:26 pm

    https://m.vz.ru/economy/2024/4/26/1265207.html

    The Ministry of Economic Development has developed three scenarios for the Russian economy for several years ahead. Under one of them, the country's economy, export revenues and real incomes of the population grow. Whereas in the stress scenario, everything happens the other way around, and it becomes more difficult to cope with inflation and keep the ruble strong. Which scenario do experts consider the most likely and why?

    The meeting between Putin and Xi will address these scenarios

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Wed May 01, 2024 3:06 am

    No reason to have an artificially strong ruble. It makes imports cheaper and it makes exporting less profitable.

    When you make stuff then a strong currency is not a great idea....

    If you import food and energy then a strong currency is good but when you export food and energy then a weak currency increases exports and makes it more practical and sensible to buy local produce... which is good for your economy and the economies of those you trade with.

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    Post  sepheronx Wed May 01, 2024 3:23 pm

    GarryB wrote:No reason to have an artificially strong ruble. It makes imports cheaper and it makes exporting less profitable.

    When you make stuff then a strong currency is not a great idea....

    If you import food and energy then a strong currency is good but when you export food and energy then a weak currency increases exports and makes it more practical and sensible to buy local produce... which is good for your economy and the economies of those you trade with.

    Inflation is only a problem if wages do not correspond with it. Technically, since Russia has zero access to western markets, they could essentially force the Ruble to a valuation of something they may have large reserves of. So for instance the Yuan is tied to x amount of USD. Well, they could make Ruble x amount of Yuan (less value than Yuan) and it would still be big money for Russia. Issue is they would need to use reserves to help prop it up and keep it at the rate of Yuan and if the Yuan appreciates too much (something China doesnt want), then it can be a problem.

    Other way to do it is like Iran and have two currencies. Ruble for internal use and external use is another currency of their own design. But that becomes expensive to upkeep and confusing.

    Or let it just fluctuate on its own. This is cheapest method but risks high inflation. But that can be controlled with some reserves and other ways is to increase production to lower overall costs of goods.

    There isn't a sure fire way to handle the situation if in case Russia ends up having inflation issues. But best economic method is what I proposed many many years ago and what was needed to shield itself from the current world economic issues and that is a form of autarky. If Russia no longer relies on imports for the domestic consumer market, produces everything it needs and be able to operate internally, then anything outside of that isn't important. But since they have easier access to China and Iran economically, they would still be able to import goods anyways and also export.

    Eventually Russia cannot rely on China and India. Instead it needs to rely entirely on itself.
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    Post  GarryB Thu May 02, 2024 1:37 pm

    If you want to go fast go by yourself. If you want to get far go with others.

    The economic system for the world is in the west... it determines values of products and currencies and the ratings organisations give false ratings for the US economy while following a political agenda with ratings for other countries depending on how the west feels about them... the truth has nothing to do with it.

    Dropping the US dollar and trading directly with other countries without going through exchanges and market in western countries means Russia can ignore western bias and bullshit and trade directly with other countries where the countries involved can decide instead of some censored in the west.

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    Post  lyle6 Thu May 02, 2024 5:26 pm

    Arkanghelsk wrote:
    The meeting between Putin and Xi will address these scenarios
    China has a massive problem in that her allies with the sole exception of Russia are economic basket cases while her biggest trading partners are enemies. That has to change.

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    Post  GarryB Fri May 03, 2024 12:02 pm

    China has a massive problem in that her allies with the sole exception of Russia are economic basket cases while her biggest trading partners are enemies. That has to change.

    That is the purpose of BRICS, it is not just economic growth and development for Russia and China, the idea is fair trade and cooperation and support amongst members to help other countries climb out of debt or stagnation and develop and grow and become wealthy the way they never could with the trade terms they have with the west.

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    Post  Kiko Mon May 06, 2024 12:51 pm

    Russia has overcome its critical dependence on Western gas turbines, by Olga Samofalova for VZGLYAD. 05.06.2024.

    Russia has overcome its dependence on high-power gas turbines from Siemens and General Electric, said Rostec head Sergei Chemezov. And Russia, unlike Iran, did this thanks to its own brains and technology. The first production turbine will be installed at a power plant on the Taman Peninsula. How did Russia end up in such critical dependence on Western turbines?

    Russia has overcome its dependence on the supply of foreign-made high-power gas turbines, said the head of the Rostec state corporation Sergei Chemezov at a meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

    “We are installing a high-power turbine GTD-110M at the Udarnaya station, which is being built on the Taman Peninsula. This is the first production turbine. We are confident that we can be independent from Siemens and General Electric. We built three stations. This is the third one. Two stations were built in Crimea and one on the Taman Peninsula - “Udarnaya”, which we will fully launch this year,” Chemezov noted.

    GTD-110M is a high-power serial gas turbine engine. Such turbines are used in modern thermal power plants and gas power plants.

    Developers: Inter RAO, Rusnano (Gas Turbine Technologies Research Center) and UEC-Saturn (a subsidiary of Rostec). Produced at UEC-Saturn in Rybinsk, Yaroslavl region. Serial production from 2024 - two units per year.

    “In-house high-power gas turbines are the Achilles heel of the Russian energy industry. Russia has been struggling to localize turbine production technology for more than 10 years, and in addition to Rostec, there are Power Machines projects for 65 MW and 170 MW. This will make it possible to replace failing installations from Siemens and General Electric, which are installed at new gas stations,” says Sergei Grishunin, managing director of the NRA rating service.

    “A gas turbine is the size of a small house and can supply the energy needs of an entire, albeit small, city. For a long time it seemed that there was simply no alternative to companies like Siemens.

    However, last year the big four gas turbine manufacturers had a combined net loss of almost five billion euros. Therefore, the release by Rostec of the first Russian serial turbine is an extremely important event. After all, we can talk not only about the replacement of Western products, but even about potential competition. This is an achievement of a qualitatively different order,” says Pavel Sevostyanov, Acting State Advisor of the Russian Federation, Associate Professor of the Department of Political Analysis and Social-Psychological Processes of the Russian Economic University. Plekhanov.

    The key point here is that high-power turbines have begun to be mass-produced, notes Nikolai Pereslavsky, head of the “Support” department at CMS Group.

    Russia itself has not produced such powerful gas turbines. We knew how to make small and medium-sized gas turbines, but not with a capacity of 100 MW or more. Therefore, when they began to actively build power plants in the 2000s, turbines began to be purchased from Western companies - Siemens and General Electric. Then joint ventures were created with these companies, but it is difficult to talk about deep localization of production. At the same time, foreign companies made money in Russia not only from the sale of their turbines, but also from their maintenance and repair.

    HSE experts previously calculated that Russia’s dependence on the import of gas turbines in 2022 was more than 90%, and this is a critical dependence. But after 2022, their main suppliers Siemens and General Electric stopped working with Russia and left joint ventures. Therefore, the task of importing high-power gas turbines has become even more urgent. As a temporary solution, Western turbines began to be replaced at a number of facilities with turbines of lower power.

    How did it happen that Russia ended up being so dependent on Western high-power gas turbines? Some technologies were lost with the collapse of the USSR. The fact is that during the Soviet era, the production of high-power gas turbines, including for Navy ships, was located on the territory of Ukraine, and the RSFSR had the production of aircraft engines. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these competencies remained in Ukraine. At first, the neighbor supplied gas turbine engines for ships of the Russian Navy, but gradually economic ties were disrupted: the Nikolaev Zorya-Mashproekt plant did not fulfill its promises, which is why Russia was unable to continue building a number of ships for the Russian Navy.

    It cannot be said that Russia did not try to create high-power gas turbines itself. The development of the GTD-110M gas turbine began back in the 1990s. And it was developed precisely on the basis of refining the previously unsuccessful model of the GTD-110 engine from the Nikolaev Zorya-Mashproekt plant.

    A new turbine was developed and was even used at the Ivanovo State District Power Plant and the Ryazan State District Power Plant in the late 2000s. However, the product turned out to have many “childhood diseases”. As a result, the turbine was never completed, the project was abandoned - and it was decided to take a simpler and faster path. Since the 2000s, Russia began to buy high-power gas turbines abroad. They were installed en masse at power plants under construction in Russia.

    “The difficulties in creating large gas turbines lie in the high technological requirements and complexity of engineering solutions. The development of such equipment requires in-depth knowledge of materials science, heat transfer, aerodynamics, and precise manufacturing processes. Experience in the aviation industry is certainly useful, but technology transfer between sectors takes time and effort,” says Yaroslav Kabakov, director of strategy at Finam Investment Company.

    Perhaps in the past, Russia chose the path of purchasing foreign installations not so much because of a lack of competence, but because of economic feasibility and accelerating the deployment of new energy capacities, the expert believes. Now, in the context of political and economic trials, priorities have changed. “Today, the ability to independently produce key components for energy infrastructure is becoming a matter of national security and economic sustainability,” says Kabakov.

    Russia has comprehensively returned to creating its own high-power gas turbine after the scandal in Crimea, when Siemens announced a ban on the use of its installations, and before that the issue was dealt with on a residual basis, says Grishunin. However, it was not possible to quickly create a turbine. In 2017, it was damaged during testing and had to be modified.

    “Gas turbine units are a product of the highest engineering qualifications, both in terms of project development and technical implementation. The first GTD-110M installation in 2017 was destroyed during testing, and this is normal for such complex equipment. Similar accidents occur with prototype installations in China, where the number of engineering personnel is incomparable to ours. An increase in the weight of rotating structures inevitably leads to a sharp risk of imbalance, which at such speeds simply tears the installation into pieces, so the appearance of a working series is a huge step forward and a merit of the country’s engineers,” says Sergei Grishunin.

    As a result, the Rybinsk “ODK-Saturn” coped with the task, and “childhood diseases” were cured. The turbine was modified, passed successful tests at the Ivanovo PSU - and mass production began. “The domestic turbine has lower weight and dimensions and higher fuel efficiency. It is planned to produce two turbines per year with increasing production and over time to replace all imported units with domestic ones,” says Pereslavsky.

    In parallel, another Russian company, Power Machines, is developing a high-power turbine. More than 150 highly qualified engineers are taking part in the creation of the GTS-170; it is necessary to create and produce 1,600 turbine equipment units. These numbers highlight how complex and multidisciplinary this task is, says Pereslavsky. Power Machines plans to produce 12 such turbines per year. Competition in this sector within the country will not hurt.

    In addition, it will be easier for the two manufacturers to cope with the expected demand for such turbines.

    “There are about 310 gas turbine units in operation in Russia today. Each costs approximately 3-4 billion rubles. Accordingly, by 2035, foreigners could receive 1.5-3 billion dollars in Russia only for the supply of equipment, without taking into account spare parts and the cost of installation and repairs,” says Grishunin. However, now future orders will go to domestic manufacturers - and the money will remain in the country.

    Moreover, Russia will not have to purchase such turbines from Iran, which was discussed in 2022.

    The fact that Iran has long been able to produce high-power gas turbines, unlike Russia, is not surprising. Iran did not create its own, it was just that at one time it was able to get Siemens to retain a license to produce such turbines despite sanctions, by importing materials and parts. But Russia created its own high-power turbine from scratch.

    Of course, there is no need to replace all gas turbines with domestic ones in the near future. Because the average service life of a turbine at a thermal power plant is 30 years, with the possibility of extension. And often Siemens or General Electric equipment at our thermal power plants was supplied in 2012–2017, that is, it is considered quite new. However, there is a market for domestic turbines. According to calculations by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), by 2027 Russian generating companies will need 28 high-power gas turbines, notes Vladimir Chernov, an analyst at Freedom Finance Global.

    Rostec estimated the market needs until 2035 at 50 such installations. However, if the development of the Far East and new regions intensifies, the need may increase by 25-30%, Grishunin believes.

    “In my opinion, in a year or two, Russia will enter the top league of the world turbine industry in terms of volume and quality and will seriously compete with foreign companies that have left the domestic market,” concludes Pereslavsky.

    https://vz.ru/economy/2024/5/6/1266443.html

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    Post  kvs Mon May 06, 2024 1:51 pm

    Perhaps in the past, Russia chose the path of purchasing foreign installations not so much because of a lack of competence,
    but because of economic feasibility and accelerating the deployment of new energy capacities, the expert believes.

    It's not "perhaps" but exactly because of economic considerations. If there are no Russian products on the market, then you have
    to shop elsewhere. The 1990s Yeltsin shock therapy makeover was intended to deindustrialize Russia and make it into a banana
    republic dependent on the west.

    But the key detail is that Russia did not roll over and development projects and training of highly qualified personnel kept going in spite
    of the economic collapse. This applies to military and civilian sectors.

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    Post  Kiko Mon May 06, 2024 7:52 pm

    Russia is building tourism sovereignty, by Katya Zorina for VZGLYAD. 05.06.2024.

    The growing popularity of domestic tourism in Russia goes beyond just recreation, entertainment and even economic development. Domestic tourism requires its own convenient transport, comfortable hotels and quality services - and ultimately turns out to be one of the conditions for the state sovereignty of Russia.

    Just ten years ago, the main and most desirable type of holiday for Russians was outbound tourism - primarily to Turkey, EU countries and Southeast Asia. Now domestic tourism, traveling around Russia, is becoming the most popular. This trend was outlined even before the coronavirus pandemic and even before the SVO. The beginning of a reorientation of Russian passengers from outbound tourism to domestic tourism was noticed by Russian Railways back in 2015 . After this, this trend was reported at the All-Russian Congress of Tour Operators.

    “This is an economic and even political issue”

    Today, domestic tourism in Russia is not just one of the most dynamically and efficiently developing industries. In the summer of 2023, President Vladimir Putin said that domestic tourism was experiencing “explosive growth.” Interest in traveling around Russia is steadily growing, as are the financial indicators of the industry. The contribution of tourism to Russia's GDP at the end of last year was 2.8% . In 2023, Russian residents made 78 million trips within the country, which is 21% more than in 2022, and in 2022 - almost 15% more than a year earlier.

    Obviously, growth will continue in 2024. According to the Government Coordination Center, 65% of Russians plan to spend their holidays traveling around Russia, and the proportion of such citizens is growing. About 53% planned to travel around the country in 2023, and 38% the year before last.

    Domestic tourism is one of the most dynamically growing areas in the segment of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In the first quarter of this year alone, the volume of sales of tourism products increased by a third, the revenue of travel agencies by 40%, and hotels increased volumes by 20%.

    The support measures adopted by the state, such as the abolition of VAT for hotels and tour operators operating in the field of domestic and inbound tourism, as well as the tourist cashback program on Mir cards, which operated in 2020–2022, played a role in the success of the tourism industry.

    Inbound tourism is also reviving. After a sharp three-year decline primarily due to the pandemic, the industry showed growth for the first time. In 2023, according to the Border Service of the FSB of the Russian Federation, foreigners entered Russia for tourism purposes 670 thousand times. Over the year, the flow of foreign tourists to our country increased 3.5 times.

    Experts expect that the recovery in tourist flows from abroad will continue this summer. And if earlier tourists from Europe flocked to Russia, now the focus has shifted towards the Middle East, China and Southeast Asia. At the same time, China is the leader in entry. At the same time, sometimes the most unexpected things become the subject of tourist attraction for foreigners. For example, many young Chinese families flock to the Murmansk region in winter to watch the aurora. According to Chinese belief, a child conceived under the northern lights will have exceptional intelligence and good fortune.

    In general, the potential of the Russian tourism industry is much higher than even the results that it is showing now.

    For comparison, the contribution of tourism to Turkey’s GDP in 2021 was about 7%, Italy and Spain - 8-9%, Australia, Canada, India at 5%. Russia can also achieve similar indicators. President Vladimir Putin set the corresponding task. “Already within the next decade, the contribution of domestic tourism to the country’s GDP should double – to 5%,” the head of state said at a meeting on the development of the federal year-round resort project “Five Seas and Lake Baikal,” held at the end of March. The number of trips within Russia should also increase to 140 million per year.

    The head of state considers the development of transport infrastructure necessary conditions for the development of tourism: intra- and interregional, including air traffic, modernization of the supporting network of roads, inland waterways, construction of new high-speed railways and highways. A separate federal project for the production of domestic products for the tourism sector should also be implemented. In addition, the domestic tourism industry requires an increase in the quality of services, the development of the number of rooms, and an increase in the availability of tourism products themselves.

    The state pays such serious attention to supporting the tourism sector not only for economic reasons (although this is an important industry for the economy, the development of which has a multiplier effect for many related areas - from public catering and the beauty industry to the production of special equipment and the creation of promising IT solutions). Domestic tourism improves the quality of life, helps to form a national identity and ensures cultural sovereignty. “This is an economic and even political issue - we need people to have the opportunity to travel around our huge, beautiful, interesting country, to know it, to understand it better, this educates a person, fosters love for the Motherland,” the president said about the importance of tourism.

    Choice of holiday

    Already today, tourism services for every taste are available on the Russian market: traditional beach holidays, excursion routes, sanatoriums and campsites. Trips to the sea are the most popular among Russians; they are preferred by 52% of vacationers. The traditional leaders in this area are the health resorts of the Krasnodar Territory and Crimea, but resorts on the Caspian coast are already successfully competing with them. In addition, new regions are joining the fight for beach lovers, for example the Donetsk People's Republic - they are currently developing a strategy for the development of the Azov coast. The region's leadership notes significant interest in this area from investors - both business and regions providing patronage assistance to the DPR.

    With the construction of a large-scale ski infrastructure near Sochi, a real revolution occurred in the winter holidays of Russians. The resorts of Krasnaya Polyana not only turned the Krasnodar region into a year-round recreation center - they showed that a real ski boom is possible in Russia . Hundreds of Russian ski slopes have replaced previously popular foreign winter destinations such as Austria and Italy for Russians.

    Water tourism, especially river tourism, is experiencing no less growth. It was reported that in 2023 the popularity of cruises in Russia increased 2.5 times. And already in February 2024, half of all river cruises for the coming summer were sold out . This is facilitated by the renewal of the Russian river fleet, including the tourist fleet. The concept of the “Great Volga Route” has been developed , which should become a driver for the development of 24 regions of Russia at once.

    Another popular area of ​​tourism is visiting unique natural sites. At the beginning of this year, Lake Baikal became the most popular destination among Russian tourists. Polls also show the rapidly growing popularity of Kamchatka. Lena Pillars, the Putorana Plateau and many other natural attractions of Siberia attract tourists. Most of them are located in specially protected natural areas. It is expected that by 2030 the corresponding infrastructure will be created in all national parks of the country; now this work is just starting.

    In addition to resort holidays and ecotourism, educational tourism is popular - and here the choice is even more diverse. In addition to the traditional historical attractions of large cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Kazan) and tourist centers (cities of the Golden Ring), tourists are offered numerous museums and ethnoparks, primarily related to regional culture and historical events. Examples include the Museum of Platband, the Museum of Spoons, the Library of Jam and the Museum of Baklushi, the ethnopark of windmills in the Kursk region and the “Startup of Peter I” tourist route in Voronezh.

    Industrial tourism is becoming a growing trend. This is a very developed service in the world - the Japanese Toyota plant is visited by about 300 thousand tourists annually, Volkswagen enterprises are popular in Germany, and the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory is popular in the USA. In Russia, visiting industrial enterprises is just becoming fashionable, although in the USSR excursions to factories and factories were often practiced and were designed to help teenagers decide on their future profession. Now industrial tourism solves a similar problem - to show the attractiveness of work in a particular industry, the level of technology and quality of production. Among the sites visited are metallurgical plants, coal mines, gold mines, eco-farms and even ice cream factories.

    This type of tourism has a direct connection with the economic sovereignty of the country, since it opens up opportunities for domestic industry to Russians.

    “The more we show how our industry works, the more people, young people will be inspired by this area, the more they will come to work, implement new projects and give the opposite effect to the new model of economic growth,” noted presidential aide Maxim Oreshkin.

    Enotourism stands apart - also, to some extent, a type of industrial tourism. Wineries in the Krasnodar Territory and Crimea, as well as cognac factories in Dagestan, are very popular. This type of vacation allows you to combine gastronomic pleasures and the educational process, immerse yourself in local culture and traditions, and learn a lot of new things not only about winemaking, but also about agriculture in general.

    The state intends to pay special attention to the development of automobile tourism. At the moment, this is the most popular way to travel around Russia, preferred by 51% of travelers. Most recently, the government approved the Concept for the development of automobile tourism in Russia until 2035. It provides for the improvement of legislation and state support measures, the development of a network of autotourist routes and infrastructure facilities. “Such trips should be comfortable for people. This requires not only main highways, but also small roads to tourist sites with gas stations, mobile communications, equipped parking lots, and hotels,” said Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

    It is expected that the implementation of the concept will almost double the number of tourist trips by car and bus by 2030, from 27 million to 47 million. And will increase the level of satisfaction of motorists with roads and services. Although it’s not bad anyway – 3.55 points out of five possible.

    Despite the large-scale development, we can say that domestic tourism in Russia is only at the beginning of its journey. “Our nature is probably the best in the world. In Russia you can find absolutely any landscape, any place,” Mishustin noted . And he emphasized that one of the goals of domestic tourism is to help Russians, especially young people, “discover their country.”

    https://vz.ru/society/2024/5/6/1266523.html

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    Post  lancelot Mon May 06, 2024 9:31 pm

    That article glosses over a couple of things. The GE joint venture with InterRAO, aka Russian Gas Turbines, bought the license to manufacture the GE 6FA gas turbine. And it should be basically 100% produced in Russia at this point. This is an F-class turbine with 82 MW power. They were also going to buy a license for an E-class turbine with 210 MW power from GE but because of the sanctions in 2022 that was cancelled.

    Power Machines used to assemble Siemens gas turbines. But after the 2014 sanctions on Crimea, when Siemens refused to sell gas turbines for the power stations there, the owners of Power Machines decided to just build their own turbine models for which they held full intellectual property rights. And this development was funded by the Russian government.

    The Soviet Union just simply did not have large gas turbines for power generation. They used boilers with steam turbines. The Ukrainian made gas turbines were mostly used for gas pumping stations and smaller scale power generators. The largest Ukrainian gas turbines were like 20-30MW and based on the naval gas turbine technology.

    The large imported gas turbines were introduced as a way to reduce Russian gas expenditure for power generation so there would be more gas that could be sold for export to Europe. A lot of the power stations using imported gas turbines were actually owned by Western electric companies like Fortum or Uniper. The Russian government (and this was under Putin) privatized a lot of the power generation. Because back then the Russian state supposedly didn't have that much capital to invest in upgrading the power plants.

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