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Pressure On Dam Finally Threatens Breakthrough

Published: November 1, 2005 (Issue # 1118)


St. Petersburg’s dam was given a boost Thursday, with the announcement of a new manager together with a massive increase in spending. Thanks to pressure at both local and federal levels the project is now due for completion in 2008.

Begun in the Gulf of Finland in 1980 but neglected for more than 15 years due to a lack of funding, the dam will next year receive 2.4 billion rubles ($84.137 million) from the federal government, compared to the 467.6 million rubles ($16.4 million) it received this year.

The figures were disclosed by Boris Paikin, head of the Directorate of the flood protection barrier construction, at a news conference last week. “I have no doubts that the city will have the dam by 2008. Of course, what infrastructure there was has been destroyed, and we have to update the works according to new technologies,” he said.

Construction of a 25.4-kilometer complex was resumed in 2003 and would comprise 11 stone and earth dams with two ship passages in between. A highway would be laid on top of the dam. To complete the construction 15 billion rubles ($525.67 million) are needed Paikin said.

Thanks to President Vladimir Putin’s personal interference the project got a second wind this year. Apart from an increased budget the dam received a new manager, straight from the private sector.

On Nov. 1 Paikin is to leave the Directorate of the Flood Protection Barrier Construction, and will be replaced by Vladimir Kogan, giving up his posts as chairman of the Industrial and Construction Bank and president of St. Petersburg Banking House to run the challenging dam project.

According to Igor Gorsky, general director of Kommercheskaya Nedvizhimost Becar, there is no technical obstacle preventing the completion of the dam on time.

“The dam was not completed earlier because it was not being constructed. At the moment all necessary documentation is ready. The most difficult part — earth mound and concrete constructions — is finished. Only highway and ship passages are left to complete,” he said.

Gorsky said that if the financial schedule was met then the dam could be completed by 2008. However, he admitted, financing has so far been rather irregular, intermittently rising and falling.

“That is exactly what the new team headed by Vladimir Kogan is supposed to improve. Financial specialists are coming to run the project, people who know how to count money and how to give grounds to spending,” Gorsky said.

Demonstrating confidence in the project, Gefest insurance company insured the project until the last quarter of 2007 for 1.5 billion rubles ($52.57 million).

“The insurance covers construction of protective dams linked to sluices and anti-waves protective barriers. After completion of those works the north part of the dam will be finished,” Vladimir Karyukin, insurance department director of Gefest, said in a statement.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of today’s seminar is “Grammar Practice.”


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at “Professional Growth,” a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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