The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Macquarie Russia & CIS Infrastructure Fund (MRIF) are to develop a smart grid programme alongside the Russian power transmission and distribution company, JSC Russian Grids.
One of the main focuses of the project will be to reduce electricity losses through measures such as updating billing systems. The programme to develop smart grids will gain strong governmental support and will be the first RDIF project partially funded by the National Welfare Fund (NWF).
The parties will look at ways to introduce smart metering technology across Russia. Similar technology has been widely adopted around the world, significantly improving the efficiency of electricity distribution companies.
The introduction of smart meters in Russia aims to increase the energy efficiency of the electricity distribution grid run by the subsidiary and affiliate companies of JSC Russian Grids and will help to significantly reduce electricity losses.
The initial roll out will likely be piloted across the Kaliningrad, Yaroslavl and Tula regions where figures from the 2011-2012 energy audit showed energy losses could be reduced. If successful, the trial may be replicated in other regions.
Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of RDIF, says: One of RDIFs objectives is to invest in projects which help to improve the efficiency of Russian companies. New investment will help Russian Grids to substantially reduce electricity losses. The deal was structured in a way to invest NWFs assets in the most protected manner.
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