Unified Energy Systems is to develop and expand the energy system in Russia’s Kemerovo region to ensure reliable power supplies in the face of rapidly rising energy demand.

The Russian national electricity utility says that over RUB127.6 billion ($5.4 billion) is required for the power generation and transmission sector, and has signed a five-year cooperation agreement with the region’s government to develop the project.

Power-intensive industries such as coal, ferrous metal, machine building and metal working are the key drivers behind the region’s growing electricity demand. According to forecasts, electricity consumption will grow from 35.6 billion kWh in 2007 to as much as 50.2 billion kWh by 2015.

To meet growing demand, regional generating company TGC-12 will bring on-line a new 660 MW unit at the Tom-Usinskaya thermal power plant and a 120 MW turbine unit at the Novo-Kemerovskaya CHP plant. The company will also modernise more than 330 MW of its existing capacity.

In addition, over 2340 MW of generation capacity will be built with private investors’ funds.

In the transmission sector some 742 km of transmission lines and new substations will be added to the grid.