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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.





 


Times Talk

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Apr. 23


Problems facing the elderly are in the spotlight at Senior Generation 2014, an international forum at LenExpo beginning today that focuses on drawing attention to and providing information about some of society’s most vulnerable members. An exhibition combined with a trade fair will help those interested be better equipped to help this demographic.



Thursday, Apr. 24


Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegation’s visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.


AmCham’s Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.



Friday, Apr. 25


Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finland’s Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping mall’s Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldn’t miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBA’s Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Center’s Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.