Electrical energy is one of the key elements to a nation's economic and social development. With this in mind, the countries that until 1991 formed the USSR have established co-operative agreements to manage the change in ownership of the interconnected power system. This exercise has included creating self-managed power grids for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and reforms to coordinate the planning development and operation of the power sectors in the 12 countries that form the Independent States.

Electric Power Potential of the CIS Countries By 1991, the United Power System (UPS) in the USSR was the largest centrally managed power pool in the world with more than 400 generating stations with a plant capacity of 344 GW. The annual energy production reached 1648 TWh. The transmission system comprised 101 regional power grids operating in parallel in 11 interconnected power systems: Central, Central Volga, North Caucasus, Ural, Siberia, North-West Russia, Belarus, Baltics, Transcaucasus, North Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Additionally, the UPS established ten 220/400/750 kV ac and dc interconnections giving energy export links with Finland, Norway, Turkey and Afghanistan. The thermal capacity of these interlinks has not yet been fully exploited.

The overhead transmission and distribution network managed by the UPS in 1991 had a rural electricity distribution system that exceeded 4.4 million km with voltages up to 110 kV.

Present Status of the CIS Electric Power Sector The territorial boundaries of the former USSR determined the initial conditions for developing the economies of the 12 member countries of the CIS (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Because of an uneven distribution of fuel and power resources, only four of these countries have the necessary resources to satisfy their demand for electrical energy. While the remainder import power resources, the fossil fuel reserves within the CIS are sufficient to meet the total energy requirements. Typical existing thermal and hydroelectric power plants in the Russian Federation are shown in Fig. 1.

The operating regime established by the USSR, which enabled parallel operation of the total network, benefited from the diversity in the daily, seasonal and annual load patterns of each region. Now that this method of sharing resources is no longer available, coupled with the imbalance of generating capacity between the CIS countries, the overall power shortfall is increasing the economical problems of these countries. Table 2 shows the electricity production from 1990-1996 for each CIS country. The table shows that in 1996 the summated production totaled 1216 TWh, some 27% lower than in 1991. This marked decline was mainly due to the combined effects of the economic crisis and breakdown in international trading agreements. With the exception of Kyrgyzstan, where the power production increased during this period, all the CIS countries have experienced a power shortfall affecting industry, construction and transport. As the rate at which time-expired generating plant has been replaced has declined and as the new plant commissioned is not based on the latest technology, higher construction costs may in the long term have a negative effect on the economy due to higher energy costs. As there is an abundance of natural gas that is already used in power plants for electricity and heat production (55%), the CIS power sector has an excellent opportunity to increase energy production with cost-effective combined cycle gas turbine plants. Current energy forecasts indicate that it will take more than 10 years for CIS countries to increase their total energy production to pre-1991 levels

CIS Countries in the Field of Electric Power The law 'Enterprises in the USSR,' which was passed in 1991, led to a number of significant changes in how the development and operation of power systems of the former USSR were managed. Economically independent electric power industry subjects have been created that have performed the planning of the CIS countries' power systems and the development and management of the system operations. The UPS has been transformed into the Interconnected Power System of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IPSCIS) and IPS of Baltics, which work in parallel.

The necessity of maintaining the established close economical and technological links and solving common technical problems in electric power engineering in the CIS countries, in addition to the role of the electric power sectors in stabilizing the economy, are already evident in the decisions made by the CIS governments. In February 1992, the 12 members of the CIS signed an agreement relating to the co-ordination of interstate relations in the field of power industry of the Commonwealth of Independent States. This led to the formation of the Electric Power Council composed of the leaders of the CIS power industry and the working body, The Executive Committee.

The co-ordination and standardization functions of the committee include the following: - Operational standards for the interconnected power system. - Participation in the determination of Interstate Agreements covering energy exchanges in terms of fuel, plant capacity and electrical energy. - Mutual aid to promote secure and stable interconnected energy systems in 'force-majeure' situations. - Co-ordination and development of the power systems to satisfy the growth strategy of the member states. - Co-ordination of interstate R&D programs. - The optimization and utilization of interstate material and labor resources needed to support all sectors of the interconnected power system. - Approval and standardization of tariff formation. - The implementation of international standards in power plant construction and in the design and operation of T&D networks. - Coordinating with manufacturers to develop energy efficient plant, control management and communication systems for use on the existing and future power systems. - Managing and coordinating the ecological, renewable and alternative energy research and energy saving programs in the member states.

The committee has established common standards for the operation of CIS interconnected power grids, including a parallel operations agreement.

The Electric Power Council is working on a development strategy to stabilize the economic position of the CIS. This study examines energy costs, tariff rates and methods of payments for energy exchanges between states. The council has been promoting optimal fuel use and power integration of the CIS countries to help overcome the production shortfall. The agreement linked to the formation of an interstate information system has further increased the level of mutual co-operation in all areas of electric-power engineering.

This economic, scientific and technological co-operation is highly important to the CIS since the efficiency of the electricity power sector depends on the collective development activities of each member state.

The agreements already in place solve the problems of scientific and technological progress in power engineering and electrification during a transition period within which industrial enterprises will shift to a market economy.

Co-ordination with Europe and Asia In 1995,the power systems of Hungary, Eastern Germany, Poland, Slovak and the Czech Republic were separated from the UPS and connected to the UCPTE network. The power systems of Bulgaria and Romania have also now been connected to this network. There is provision within the European Community (EC) to connect the power networks of the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to the UCPTE, and similarly, interconnection of the Belarus and Ukraine networks with the UCPTE is also under consideration. The EC is discussing alternative options for the power networks of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia being interconnected with Europe via the networks of Iran, Turkey, and the Balkan countries.

The existing 11 interconnectors, which in the past promoted 40 GWh annually to Western Europe, are no longer in commission, and the opportunity to exchange electrical power between the Euro-Asian Continents is not being exploited. The CIS countries acknowledge that as a result of their geographical position in Europe it is vital to re-establish and participate in an active energy policy of integration via links with foreign energy organizations. The Electric Power Council is therefore concentrating on coordinating the position of the CIS countries with the UN Economic Commission, European Community, UNIPEDE, IEA, UCPTE and NORDEL.

To achieve the desired level of international economic co-operation, the CIS countries acknowledge that wide-scale changes are necessary to attract foreign investment. The culture changes necessary include: - Creation of conditions for effective tariff policies to facilitate participation in existing and new energy markets. - Improvements in interstate contracts including adoption of the guaranteed payment system used internationally. - Establishing a stable legislative environment to encourage foreign investors. - Settlement of monetary and financial problems via long term contracts with creditors and debtors. - A coordinated monetary/customs control system together with the development of a sensible taxation policy.

The CIS countries urgently require a coordinated energy policy to make it possible to interconnect the power grids with the existing integrated energy systems of Eastern, Central and Western Europe, re-establishing and increasing the volumes of energy exported.

Prospects for the Future The CIS countries are joint owners of an electric power industry with sufficient resources to satisfy all sectors of the internal market and support the upsurge in the whole economic system. The long-term interests are being serviced by the Electric Power Council, which has established interstate economic mechanisms, agreements and standards to manage resources (fuel and energy), technology, research and system operations. The council is now concentrating its efforts to re-establish and further develop the participation of the CIS countries in the World Energy System to ensure that the long-term energy production forecasts for 2000 and 2010 are achieved. An open market with respect to foreign investment, technology and equipment is urgently needed to prevent these countries from being excluded from involvement in the long-term development of the major East-West Europe transmission interconnectors, which are now under examination. This may precipitate the move to a deregulated power industry bringing the CIS countries in line with many European countries within and outside the European Community.

Dr. Vladimir Andreevich Djanguirov was born in Groznyi and received his technical and managerial qualifications at Kiev and Ural Polytechnic Institutes where he was awarded Doctorates in engineering and philosophy. His long-term experience in the electricity industry started in eastern Russia in generation. He progressed to manager of the dispatch center for the interconnected power system in Eastern Russia. In 1987 he joined the USSR Ministry of Power Engineering and Electrification in Moscow and in 1991 was appointed deputy minister of power and fuel for the Russian Federation. Since 1992 he has been chairman of the Executive Committee of the Electric Power Council of the CIS. Dr. Djanguirov assisted in the drafting of the European Energy Charter for which he is a signatory and has been a representative and contributor at UNIPEDE, UNESCO, IAE, World Energy Council and CIGRE Conferences across the world.