In an exclusive interview to Kazakhstan magazine, Erkebulan Iliyasov, Chairman of the Council of Directors at Alageum Electric, which is a leading holding company in the power engineering sector of Kazakhstan, talks about the new technology of manufacturing of power transformers that meet world energy-saving standards, and which the company have acquired for EXPO-2017.
Today, when the whole world is transferring to energy-saving technology, what contribution does your company make in "green" energy?
The company's strategy today is aimed at the development of resource-saving "green" energy and the production of energy-efficient transformers. This comes from the understanding that the countries, which focus on clean energy, will be leaders in the global economy.
For this, the company upgrades its equipment and changes approaches to the entire production and technology chain. We made our first step on the way to the EXPO-2017 with the acquisition of new technology for manufacturing of transformers that is based on environmentally innovative aspects.
But this is not our first experience in manufacturing of environmentally friendly products. Dry transformers that meet the consumer’s demand in matters of environmental safety occupy a special place in the range of products. For the first time the plant manufactured dry transformers with cast insulation under the brand of “KTZ" JSC in August 2008. So, we could say that this opened a new era in transformers manufacturing in Kazakhstan.
The worldwide trend of a rise in energy resources price makes the problem of power losses reduction in distribution transformers topical. Among the broad range of power transformers for general purpose, manufactured by us, the transformers of the TMG series cope with this problem. They have the lowest level of no-load losses (approximately 20% of that set by the State Standard) and short circuit (8%–10%, compared to serial transformers).
Energy-saving and low-noise transformers are especially in demand by foreign customers. They are certainly more expensive than common transformers; however, the difference in price is paid off within one to two and a half years through energy savings.
Dry-type transformers do not require periodic maintenance. They are fireproof and environmentally friendly. They have reduced noise and are resistant to short circuits. These features make it possible to install them into distributors of residential buildings and office buildings without building detached substations. Environmentally friendly innovative technologies are applied in manufacturing of these transformers. Today, tough requirements are set to the specification of a transformer as a key element of the substation. Among these requirements are parameters such as the absence of toxic emissions in the failure of a substation or the electrical insulating fluid spill. The advantage of dry-type transformers is the new insulating materials, the modern principles of design and the new manufacturing techniques.
Due to the small dimensions, in the renovation of a substation transformer the installation of a transformer of greater power in the relevant compartment is possible. Dry-type transformers are distinguished by a simpler assembling that does not require additional fire safety measures in places of installation, the resistance to moisture and humidity, and the minimum operating costs due to the lack of need to periodically check and replace the dielectric fluid. I would also note their ability to stay cool, and their overall improved reliability. Measurement and control of the temperature in them is made by thermo- and temperature sensors that control the fans.
As far as we know, the majority of domestic facilities are equipped with oil transformers that are inferior in their environmental parameters, aren’t they?
Indeed, oil transformers have a number of serious shortcomings in terms of fire safety; they are ecologically vulnerable due to possible leakage of oil in case of accidents. They require constant monitoring of the level and quality of the oil that makes it difficult to use them, not allowing to use such devices at facilities located near the consumers. Besides, their weight and dimensions exceed those of dry transformers of the same power.
Scientific progress and the requirements to the operational safety standards for high-voltage equipment make the production of dry-type transformers topical. The different species of dry transformers differ in their design and manufacturing techniques. Today, the dry-type transformers market in Kazakhstan is represented mainly by products of our factory.
The company produces about 8 thousand to 10 thousand transformers of various power outputs. Of these, 5 thousand to 6 thousand are transformer substations. In general, the plant produces 350 different products. We constantly increase the range of products, expand production, and actively enter new markets.
Alageum Electric’s share in the 6 kV and 10 kV voltage transformers market in Kazakhstan is 70%. Such transformers have been manufactured at the plant since 1959, and now, their aggregate output has reached about 580 thousand units. In terms of production of the 35 kV and 110 kV voltage transformers, our share is 35%. These transformers have been manufactured at the plant since 2005, and their number produced has reached 1,275 units to today. In 2015, we will launch the production of 220 kV voltage transformers.
Recommended term of technical operation of transformers is 25 years, but in fact, with proper maintenance and timely service a transformer keeps working 40–50 years.
We managed to prove the real attractiveness of Kazakhstan’s transformer equipment in the domestic and external markets. This evidences from the stable and long-term orders placed to our facilities. The entering of external markets, which began in 2001, now covers Russia, Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Azerbaijan. Every year the number of foreign partners grows, taking up an ever greater share in total sales. In 2010 and 2012, exports to external markets accounted for one tenth of gross output. In 2012 they rose to one third. In the three years from 2010 to 2012, the exports had increased 5-fold, amounting to $16 million. In terms of exports, with its 30% share in total sales, the company strongly competes with producers in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. The strategic goal of the company is to increase the share of exports to 60% in 2020.
To achieve this ambitious objective, a set of measures is being implemented to expand the range of products and services, to enter the markets of the CIS, South Caucasus and Iran. The expansion of the export geography allows a secure position in the new consumer’s market, to conquer the markets of partner countries, among which the markets of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are of particular interest.
We have focused our efforts on promoting cross-border cooperation. In 2005, the company established in Kyrgyzstan a structural subdivision, KyrgyzEnergoRemont JSC, which provides services in installation of high-voltage and low-voltage equipment, repair of turbines, and supply of electrical equipment. In 2013, the company opened a Russian representative office in Moscow. Within the scope of its activities is the expansion of the company’s presence in the Russian market through a dealer network, as well as the strengthening the status quo of Alageum brand abroad.
Regarding the development of export direction, we feel the strong support from the state. Since 2010, we have been collaborating with the National Agency for Export and Investment KAZNEX INVEST. This allows expanding the geography of exports, to effectively participate in foreign trade missions organized by the said agency, and to establish close contacts with potential foreign partners.
The company’s history began in 1997 with the amalgamation under a single brand name Alageum Electric of several companies, specializing in the manufacture and installation of electrical equipment and the design of power plants, utilities and substations. In 2012, with the setting of a controlling company, the holding company’s structure acquired a finished look. Today, Alageum Electric is a large electrical company in Kazakhstan, providing in the electricity market a full range of services "on a turn-key basis from a single source" with subsequent service support. The activities of the company cover the five main areas: design, the manufacture of electrical products, the supply of industrial equipment and maintenance, the construction and the production of building materials, and the electrical installation and commissioning services. The key entities, comprising the holding company’s structure are: Kentau Transformer Plant, Design Institute Promenergo, Nur-Stroy Ltd, and Electromontazh.