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‘Territory of Energy Dialogue’: Russian Energy Week Opened with Scientific and Practical Conference

12 October 2022
«Территория энергетического диалога»: Российскую энергетическую неделю открыла первая профильная научно-практическая конференция

The topic of the 2022 discussion platform is ‘Developing Science to Achieve Technologi-cal Sovereignty in the Fuel and Energy Sector’.

The most important task for Russia is to make significant steps towards innovative eco-nomic modernization and technological sovereignty as soon as possible. Existing successful practices should already be replicated throughout the country. This was the focus of the ex-perts’ discussions at the conference held on 11 October. The event was held as part of the Russian Energy Week 2022 International Forum. It was organized by the Russian Energy Agency of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Roscongress Founda-tion with the support of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation.

Pavel Sorokin, First Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, set the tone for the discussion at the plenary session ‘Development of Science in the Fuel and Energy Sector to Achieve Technological Sovereignty’.

«It is now critical to ensure good communication between companies in the sector and their needs and research institutions. Unfortunately, developments are often pushed on companies without a clear understanding of why they are needed. In turn, companies often fail to communicate their needs, preferring to import. Our most important task is to match the needs of the sector with the capabilities of science,» shared Pavel Sorokin addressing the factors of scientific and technological development.

The extent and speed of meeting the growing demand of fuel and energy companies for domestically manufactured advanced equipment and technology will largely determine Rus-sia’s technological independence, he added.

One of the entities involved in achieving technological sovereignty is the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation. The Ministry is actively working on creation of an ecosystem for interaction between science, business and authorities, which will include formation of world-class training centres, development of public procurement, implementation of roadmaps of the National Technological Initiative. This is what Deputy Minister Dmitry Afanasyev said was his area of responsibility.

At the moment, Russia’s fuel and energy complex is stable and enables uninterrupted supply of resources to consumers: there is a surplus of almost all types of energy resources in the domestic market, which allows planning the development of the sector. At the same time, many of the challenges and threats reflected in the Energy Security Doctrine are already becoming a reality, said Alexei Kulapin, Director General of the Russian Energy Agency (REA) of the Russian Ministry of Energy.

It is therefore important to strike a balance between moving forward and ensuring that the attainment of technological sovereignty does not lead to technological isolation, or be-come a threat to the country’s sustainable development.

The Forecast of Scientific and Technological Development of Fuel and Energy Complex Sectors defines a list of priority technologies relevant for increasing the competitiveness of the Russian fuel and energy complex. Now it is necessary to rank these technologies and de-termine their priority in order to ensure Russia’s energy security, believes Alexey Kulapin.

He was supported by Andrey Klepach, Chief Economist of the State Development Corporation VEB.RF. He named development corporations — using Skolkovo as an example — as an effective tool for solving fuel and energy issues. In the case of the business commu-nity, innovative development programs are such an instrument. If they are successful, the need for integrated software products is obvious.

The digitalization of the Russian fuel and energy sector is continuing, experts said. In this area, as part of ensuring technological sovereignty and import substitution, special atten-tion should be paid to the level of service development. Diana Syunyaeva, Deputy Head of the Information Technology, Automation and Telecommunications Directorate, Head of Business Analysis and IT Development Centre of Gazprom Neft, said: the company has teams that focus on systematic analysis of user experience, development of requirements for adjustments and interaction with the solution centres.

Georgy Kalamanov, Deputy Director for Development and International Business — Director for Development and Strategic Projects of the State Corporation Rosatom, spoke about nuclear industry projects: the state corporation focuses not only on the development of large NPPs, but also on small capacities, including floating nuclear power plants. The com-pany is also developing a closed nuclear fuel cycle.

In addition, the nuclear company plans to strengthen cooperation with oil and gas sector projects: for example, it plans to build an additional line of LNG equipment as part of coop-eration with Gazprom and Novatek.

Igor Shpurov, General Director of the State Commission for Mineral Reserves, sees one of the key challenges of the oil and gas sector not in the technological sphere: «Today companies hardly depend on imported technology: 85% of technology is available. More problems and risks are in the infrastructure — logistics and transportation corridors.»

He cited as a successful example Novatek’s floating liquefied natural gas plants, created with the use of foreign technology, but unique in their essence. Thanks to the developments in the last six months, Novatek has almost completely escaped all sanction restrictions — this principle should be scaled up to the entire industry, believes Igor Shpurov.

The experience of the Moscow Power Engineering Institute in the field of personnel training was presented by Nikolay Rogalyov, Rector of the Research University: MPEI started implementing complex projects for training specialists and developing technologies within the framework of projects in distributed and renewable energy, hydrogen energy, digi-tal energy, providing technological base for big energy, climate transformation of energy sec-tor.

The conference included panel sessions within 3 key tracks: strengthening the role of scientific and technical information, current trends in the energy sector, development of tradi-tional and new fuel and energy sectors.

The conference will result in proposals to the Forecast of Scientific and Technological Development of Fuel and Energy Complex Sectors, a list of recommendations to support prospective technologies for relevant development institutions, foundations and federal au-thorities, as well as proposals for the development of the state system of scientific and tech-nical information.

For more information on the Russian Energy Week 2022, go to its official website