Bilibino nuclear power and district heating plant (NPDHP) was the first nuclear power station built beyond the Polar Circle in the central part of the Chukotka peninsula, and it provides electricity for the regional mining and gold mining industries.
Four EGP-6 (water-cooled graphite-moderated pressure tube) reactors, with a 48 MW installed capacity, are in operation.
The station works in the load-following mode in the regional energy grid. The station also provides heat and hot running water for the nearby small town and a hothouse complex.
At the time of the initiation of this project the population of the nearby town was 10,000 people - mostly station personnel, geologists, construction workers and gold miners.
Bilibino NPP was connected through two 110 kV lines: the first one, 300 kms long, to Zeliony Mys power plant (2 x 10 MW Gas Turbine) and the second one, 400 kms long, to Pevec where an old small thermal plant was still working. No other electric lines or plants were in the area and no future development or renovation was planned.
For this reason Bilibino NPP often worked in island mode because it was the only reliable power source in this wild and remote region, where, during the winter, temperatures as low as minus 50 °C are normally reached.
Events or accidents that would not have severe consequences or could be easily mitigated in other regions, in Bilibino could degenerate due to the difficulty, and sometimes the impossibility, to transport help during the winter months when the worst climate conditions would exist.
In the framework of the TACIS 1995 programme, it was decided to initiate a project for the re-design and reconstruction of the Emergency Power Supply System of Bilibino NPP. The initial stages of the project preparation were included as part of a large contract between the EC and the Twinning Programme Engineering Group (TPEG) consortium (see contract 23631). TPEG assigned the task to ENEL.
ENEL immediately began an analysis of the emergency systems, based on probabilistic models, which led to some indications on Emergency Power Supply System components' implementation or replacement.
A visit to Bilibino NPP, which was originally foreseen at the end of 1996 and postponed for bad weather conditions in Chukotka, was performed by the ENEL experts in the period from the July 30 to August 5, 1997.
The visit, in addition to the visual inspection of the overall system to evaluate the status, the working conditions, the location of the existing components and to obtaining relevant information from the system operators, had the purpose of defining an agreed set of components to be implemented or replaced either in the framework of the TACIS 95 or in the framework of the TACIS 97 Programme.
Four Specific Projects were identified and in detail:
TACIS 95 Programme (see project R1.08/95)
- Replacement of Emergency D/G Switchboards
- Replacement of Emergency Circuit Breakers
- Replacement of Telephone Exchange System
TACIS 97 Programme (project R1.02/97D, which was cancelled and reprogrammed in the TACIS 2003 programme - see R1.08/03A)
Substitution of 2,5 MW Gas Turbine with 2x1,25 MW Diesel generators
ENEL prepared, among other documents, a report on the redesign of the Electrical Power Supply System a well as four purchase Technical Specifications for each of the above mentioned replacement projects.
The activities were halted when the contract with TPEG ended. A follow-on contract was placed by the EC directly with ENEL (later Sogin) to perform the evaluation of the tenders for all the above equipment and to supervise the installation of the equipment at the Bilibino NPP site (see contract 26316).
The tender procedure for R1.08/95 resulted in the contracting of the Emergency D/G Switchboards and the Emergency Circuit Breakers with the company Schneider (see project R1.08/95). No compliant offers were received for the Telephone Exchange System and it was decided not to retender for this equipment.
The tender procedure for R1.02/97D was unsuccessful due to the one tender received not being technically compliant with the tender technical requirements. The EC decided to revise the Technical Specifications and re-launch the call for tender.
This resulted in additional activities for the Consultant. Moreover, the delays introduced by the retendering meant that the on-site supervision activities for the installation of the diesel generators could now no longer be performed in the same summer period as those for project R1.08/95. There was insufficient budget in the contract with Sogin to cover these additional activities. Therefore, this further contract was placed with Sogin for the retendering, manufacturing follow-up and supervision of the on-site installation activities.
The objective of the project was the completion of the TACIS 97 project (R1.02/97D) with the installation of two diesel generators at Bilibino NPP.
The Consultant was expected to achieve the following targets:
- To complete all necessary documents to launch the tender dossier for equipment procurement
- To perform the evaluation of the bids and preparation of the contract between the Supplier and the Beneficiary/End User.
- To supervise the manufacturing and installation/commissioning phases.
The contract was signed in June 2003 and was concluded in July 2008.
Due to the delays resulting from the failure of the first tender procedure, The EC decided to cancel the R1.02/97D project and to re-programme the project in the TACIS 2003 programme. The new project number was R1.08/03A.
The call for tender was launched in September 2005 and the tender evaluation was performed between 21 and 24 November 2005. A contract was signed with the successful tenderer Technoserv on 24 June 2006.
The Diesel Generators were successfully delivered and installed at the NPP.