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Anti-COVID cluster in St. Petersburg Special Economic Zone


The resident companies are engaged in fighting the pandemic.

In 2020, resident companies of the St. Petersburg Special Economic Zone were studying COVID-19 vaccine, making personal protective equipment and developing other pandemic-related projects. Saint-Petersburg TV Channel’s Dmitry Kopytov will tell in detail.

Dmitry Kopytov, reporter, tells: ‘Last year the activities of the companies that are residents of the Special Economic Zone were affected by the pandemic. Thus, one of the residents started manufacturing contactless thermometers that don’t require an operator to apply them.’

36.7 degrees, almost perfect. Same as the results of the resident companies, despite the pandemic. None of them suspended operations last year.  

Tamara Rondaleva, Managing Director, St. Petersburg Special Economic Zone, comments: ‘We actually have built an anti-COVID cluster here, our investors make personal protective equipment, disinfecting devices for transport vehicles and premises, virus and antibodies test systems. Two companies have been licensed by the Gamaleya Institute to produce Sputnik V vaccine.’

This company used to specialize on making breathalysers to test drivers for using alcohol. In 2020 they developed a new device to be used under the pandemic conditions.

Ivan Yatsurenko, sales manager, instructs: ‘Take the card and breathe out without taking off the mask. Here is the result.’

Another company makes these unusually looking machines. They are used Russia-wide and abroad.

Alexander Mikhailenko, Director, R&D, tells: ‘Our company is about the only one in Russia to have this know-how. These are wind lidars. This model has a range of up to 5 kilometers. The Baikonur Airdrome as well as a number of other airdromes and nuclear power stations are equipped with such units.’

More than half of the personnel worked distantly during the worst months of the pandemic. But you cannot manufacture equipment distantly.

Dmitry Vasiliev, First Deputy MD with a company developing laser systems, tells: ‘It was a hard year, but we were able to keep all our personnel, all the 150 people we have been selecting for 20 years, and we never were late paying wages. These people are really scientific and technical elite of this city, and they are our main achievement.’

The company makes control systems for power plants. These metal boxes are stuffed with smart microchips and cables. The software is developed in Russia. Such control systems are installed at the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant and at other facilities. Every fifth power plant in Russia uses control systems made in the St. Petersburg Special Economic Zone.

Andrey Misyul, Deputy MD with a resident company, explains: ‘Being a resident of the Special Economic Zone we have an opportunity to invest more thanks to the preferences we have.’

According to the Special Economic Zone MD, the overall investment in 2020 made 7 billion rubles (94.8 million dollars). This is important, but jobs and taxes are no less important.

Photo and video: St. Petersburg TV channel