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We are building St. Petersburg. SUV “Fuel-Energy compex of St. Petersburg”

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In order for residential homes, schools, kindergartens and hospitals to have heating, more than 9 thousand specialists are working in St. Petersburg all year round. Among them – Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’s heating network.

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So, Valera, where are the defects?

Right at the base

At the base?

From that side

Ah, just like Lyosha said it was

Yes, under the pavement

Under the pavement, yes?

In order for residential homes, schools, kindergartens and hospitals to have heating, more than 9 thousand specialists are working in St. Petersburg all year round. Among them – Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’s heating network. 

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’s heating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “I am responsible for normal operations of heating networks. So that there are no disruptions in heating, all crews perform their works and fixes made on time”

In 22 years of work at the complex, Vadim Maslov has gone from being a mechanic to the head engineer at fuel-energy complex. He is now responsible for the territories between Obukhovskaya Storona and Krasnoe Selo. In a day, he can drive for up to a hundred kilometers – inspecting facilities where planned or emergency works are being held. 

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’s heating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “Whenever they call me and report a problem, I’m on my way”

Excavator

Connect it. Did you cut it there?

Yes, I have

Sweet. Have they brought the pipe to you, all good?

Yes, Kolya is welding it now

Ok, good

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’s heating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “The crew is very experienced, they have 8 hours for this fix. They couldn’t make it for the planned hot water shut off in this building, so now they are working on one pipe without circulation, but the hot water service is active in the building. 

The fuel-energy complex of St. Petersburg is the organization which provides heating and hot water to 2.5 million residents every day – such traits of comfort, lack of which is unimaginable in the modern days. 

Ivan Repin, head engineer of SUV “TEK SPB”: “Besides transporting heat, we are also generating it. We are also buying heat from other generating organizations and provide it to consumers”

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’sheating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “So, this is a joint boiler room which covers a number of residential buildings plus several socially important sites  - a hospital, a polyclinic and a school. Today we’ll test the heating network for integrity.

Hydraulic tests are held every summer at all city’s heating networks. This is necessary to check the readiness of pipes for the heating season. The pipe pressure is being deliberately raised to identify weak spots and, if necessary, replace or repair certain defective segments. If there’s a hidden flaw somewhere – it will be detected. 

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’sheating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “We are working in a pair: boiler room and heating network. Meaning close cooperation between managers of boiler rooms and those operating the heating network. They call each other, coordinate actions, agree on how the hydraulic testing would take place and where it would start – from one pipe or the other”

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’s heating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “The test is held at 1.25 times higher than the normal pressure level. At 11.35 we start the tests at Elizarova 32.

Tell me when its 5

That’s it – it is five now!

We raised the bar to 5 kilograms and are now waiting for 10 minutes

That’s it!

The test has been successful, congratulations!

Yes

In order for the hydraulic tests to be safe, the temperature of water inside the pipes is decreased, while the flow of hot water to consumers is temporarily suspended. The tests are strictly scheduled and usually take 2-3 days, but hot water may be shut off for up to 3 weeks. This is due to repair works in boiler rooms. Although, in some parts of the city, residential buildings are not cut off from hot water supply – those are put on auxiliary heating system. But by far not all boiler rooms have such capabilities. 

Andrey Bondarchuk, chairman of committee on energy and energy supplies of St. Petersburg: “Unfortunately, we cannot completely scrap the hot water suspension periods. They still do happen, but nowadays those are between 1 and 2 weeks. We try to be as open as possible and put all information on websites of heating providers, as well as administration website – so that any resident can find one’s home on the map and see when the hot water would be suspended. 

Heating season starts and ends when average temperature stays at 10 degrees for three days in a row. Also, both the switching on and off happen gradually – house after house, block after block. The heat carrier must either cool down or get hot, while the network should get set for a pressure change. This is called periodic heating. That’s why situations when its already warm outside but radiators are still hot inside – and vice versa - sometimes happen.

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’sheating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “The most intense work for us begins when the tests start, but also after they finish – because we have to give hot water to the people as quickly as possible, yes. This is the most difficult moment, because that’s when we set the priorities – either to shut it off completely, or activate one pipe. That’s where you chose a priority. Some places require a crew immediately, some can wait for a couple of days”

The Northern Capital is the pioneer of heating in Russia. It was here in Leningrad, in 1924, that the country’s first heating pipe was activated. It connected the 3rd state power station with building 96 on Fontanka’s embankment. It was only 250 meters long. In June 1938, the fuel-energy administration was created within LenGorIspolKom. This organization was responsible for providing the residence with electricity and heating. St. Petersburg’s fuel-energy complex is its direct successor. 

Vadim Maslov also controls repairs of defects at the city’s heating networks. You don’t need to dig up the whole segment to find a leak. In such cases, the damage control laboratory usually steps in. 

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’sheating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “When we have clear-cut defects – like an outside water leak – we don’t need the services of a defection inspector. The running water shows exactly where the leak is. There are segments though where pipes lay in canals. Water started running, we dig it up and see no defect. That’s when we call upon a defection inspector and put pipes under pressure. The most difficult part is looking for defects in those canals. There have been times when we found faults in different places than an inspector had showed”

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’sheating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “Unfortunately, we are hampering his work by walking next to him. The tools are very sensitive and can hear the slightest noise”

Having found a flaw, specialists of the fuel-energy complex are getting down to fixing it. In order to do that, they only need to replace the damaged segment of the pipe underground. Head engineer controls the work and oversees safety regulations. 

Be careful, Valera!

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’s heating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “Mechanics have a dangerous profession mostly. They are the ones going down into the heat chambers and turn it off. Especially in the winter – when its -20 outside and +30 inside the chamber. Very sharp change and they are all wet. They also often stand in a cordon for hours after water leaks”

Overall, there are 4,5 thousand kilometers of heating pipes underneath St. Petersburg – serviced by the fuel-energy complex. Its 31 times longer than the beltway around the city. The company’s share in the market of city’s heating is 48%, which makes it the main supplier of heating and hot water in St. Petersburg. 

Pipes’ weariness is one of the main problems of the city’s heating system. Every year, specialists of St. Petersburg’s fuel-energy complex lay around 100 kilometers of new pipes. 

Andrey Bondarchuk, chairman of committee on energy andenergy supplies of St. Petersburg: “Those measures implemented by heating companies with the Committee’s coordination, allow smooth heating seasons. We are doing our best so that our residents feel comfortable – both in terms of heating and in terms of providing all other communal resources”

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’sheating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “My work day sometimes ends at midnight with a phone call – “what else bad happened?”, I ask them. “All good, crews are working through the night, no problems whatsoever.” – they reply. We then tell each other “we’ll be in touch” and that’s it. Meaning we don’t tell goodnight to each other, but – we’ll be In touch. This is a tradition we have. 

Vadim Maslov also has traditions at home. At least once a week, the experienced engineer takes tambours and cottons and creates knitted pictures – to then give those to relatives and friends. 

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’sheating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “I started knitting by accident. We went to buy a gift for the kid, because the daughter also wanted to try knitting. And I got sort of addicted to it, liked it a lot. People say it calms the nerves. I don’t know – im calm as I am. But now work conditions have changed and there have been a little more worries than usual. So I do less knitting these days, but still try to find time for it – at least 2-3 hours.

Another passion of Vadim Maslov – toy models. Tanks, planes, ships – the collection stands at a visible spot, while its owner knows the detailed history of every single one of the prototypes. 

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’s heating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “Newport-17. During the Civil war, Vrangel’s army had only one plane – Newport-17 – which changed hands all the time and was constantly re-painted. From Whites to Reds. Take it down, fix it, it starts flying, gets shot down over enemy territory and changes hands again. Had been flying for some time until was taken out permanently. 

Everybody needs heating. To make homes comfortable, hundreds ofspecialists are working in boiler rooms and are servicing heatingnetworks 24/7. But we all can make our lives warmer. All of us are part of the big city. What will it be like tomorrow – its up to us to decide. We are building our city; every single one of us is building St. Petersburg. 

Vadim Maslov, head engineer of Levoberezhnyi district’sheating network at SUV “TEK SPB”: “The fuel-energy complex is trying to fix as many pipes, to have as fewer leaks as possible. So that our city blossoms without digs and leaks. So that the fountains we see are at Moskovskiy Prospekt and Petrodvorets, not those coming out of leaked pipes. 

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