Vladimir Putin made working trip to Chelyabinsk Region.

Vladimir Putin took part in the launch of a new production line at the Eterno Plant in Chelyabinsk, which produces advanced components for pipe systems using nanotechnology.

The Eterno Plant is a joint project of the Chelyabinsk Pipe-Rolling Plant (ChelPipe) and Rusnano designed to meet the needs of oil and gas companies and pipeline operators. The plant was launched in late 2015 and manufactured over 1,500 tonnes of produce in the first three quarters of 2016.
The President learned about the plant’s activity and examined the Rusnano project exhibition.
The head of state also met with workers of the Eterno Plant.

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President of Russia Vladimir Putin:
Good afternoon!
I understand you all work here. Naturally, many of those employed in the sector will envy you. The company has been successfully operating for a year now, gathering momentum, improving quality and developing new products. Essentially, this is a very serious step forward in the development of the metallurgical industry. Well done. I wish you success.
Let us begin.

Alfred Minev:
Mr. President, we are happy to welcome you to our Externo plant. My name is Alfred Aminev. I am the production director at the plant.
I started my professional career at the ChelPipe company’s Vysota 239 workshop, manufacturing large-diameter pipe, and I remember very well how you put it into operation and were introduced to our white metallurgy products. At the time you described it as a Disneyland. Could you share your impressions of the new manufacturing facility, the new Eterno plant?
Vladimir Putin:
I believe I have just spoken about that. I have the best possible impressions. Your managers told me what has been done and what you plan to do in the future. This is exactly what white metallurgy should do.
We have been talking a great deal about import substitution, and quite often recently, not because we want to substitute for everything but because this is beneficial for the country. This creates new jobs and high-tech production facilities, increases tax revenues at all levels of the tax system, and so on, and also enhances expertise. So you have taken this wonderful step forward. I hope it is not the last one.
Denis Prikhodko:
Mr. President, my name is Denis Prikhodko. I am the head of ChelPipe’s commercial service. Before my colleagues start showering you with questions, I would like to say a few words of gratitude. The fact is that several years ago, our company, with your direct support, received state guarantees that made it possible for us to continue our development and implement new investment projects, one of which you are seeing today.
We sincerely hope that we have justified the great trust that was put in us and that this project will reaffirm that. However, we would like to note that we are in talks with our creditors regarding the early repayment of our obligations and therefore the early return of state guarantees.
So, on behalf of our working collective of many thousands, I would like to express our gratitude to you. Thank you very much for the contribution to our company’s development.

Vladimir Putin:
I know that you want both to return the guarantee and to repay the loan early. Banks are not always pleased with the early repayment of loans because they make money on interest. However, as one of your executives said just now, an agreement has apparently been reached with Sberbank, so I understand Sberbank has no reason to refuse early repayment.
Regarding the guarantee, we do this more or less automatically. As for the fact that the company is ready to return guarantees – strictly speaking, not even guarantees, but money, indicates that you are doing a good job.

Dmitry Zhuromsky:
My name is Dmitry Zhuromsky. I head ChelPipe’s investment department.
Mr. President, we know that you have come here by helicopter.
Vladimir Putin:
That was not hard to guess.
Dmitry Zhuromsky:
Yes, we could hear the chopper. The blade spars for Mi-26, the world’s largest military transport helicopter, are made at this plant, actually in the shop next door.
It so happened that we developed the production of blade spars concurrently with the development of helicopter manufacturing in the country. Mr. President, can we hope that this sector will continue to develop dynamically?
Vladimir Putin:
Of course, you can. Frankly speaking, I did not know that you make blade spars. I will tell you why this is so important. You have probably heard that we have held trials of a helicopter that can fly at a speed of some 400 kilometres an hour. How can it fly so fast? Because it has novel blades and materials, and this is the main innovation. This is why your plant is so important.
As for helicopter manufacturing in general, the holding company Russian Helicopters has been growing quite well. I believe that over the past four years it has doubled its net revenue and increased its net profit by 80 percent, if memory serves. The holding company keeps growing.
You have mentioned the Mi-26 helicopter. Yes, it is the world’s most powerful military transport helicopter. We are now working with our Chinese partner to build a similar, though smaller, helicopter. Its payload will be 15 tonnes, less than the 20 tonnes the Mi-26 can carry. We are also working on other new products. We have always been the market leader in the medium and super-heavy classes, but we have also created good light helicopters, including Ansat and Ka-226T.
I have flown in both, and I loved it. There were some hitches, but I would describe them as insignificant and besides, we have smoothed them over. These helicopters are really great. I am sure that we will have big domestic and export contracts for them, especially for Ka-226T. It is a very good light multifunction helicopter.
It has a coaxial main rotor system and can be used equally well on the sea, because it can withstand side winds, and in the mountains, for the same reason. We have talked about this helicopter with our Indian friends, who are planning to buy these helicopters for the army and for possible use in the mountain terrain.
One more new helicopter, Mi-38, is a big helicopter that can carry cargo and passengers. When a delegation from an Arab country saw it and looked at its characteristics, they told me – I am not joking now – they said, “We are buying it right now. If you sell, we will buy.” Because it is a really good product of world class; our rivals have nothing of the kind. I hope very much that more of such equipment will be produced soon.

Dmitry Zhuromsky:
Thank you.
Alexander Lopan:
I am Alexander Lopan, head of the regional sales department at Eterno.
Mr. President, for the past few months ChelPipe has been supplying large-diameter pipes to Nord Stream 2. We all watch TV, and we can hear our Western partners speaking about suspending the project, which means the loss of future contracts and jobs for us. How do you see the future of this project? Will any other infrastructure projects be launched in the near future?
Vladimir Putin:
You know, a project to deliver natural gas to Germany was proposed back in the Soviet era. I think it was called the “gas for pipes” project. German companies supplied the pipes, while we launched gas deliveries. It was back in the 1960s, and the project had very many opponents.
The West German government was pressured by its main ally then, yet it decided to implement this project. For decades afterwards, the Soviet Union and later Russia has supplied huge volumes of natural gas to Europe. Actually, we did not disrupt deliveries a single time. When gas deliveries were suspended in 2008 and 2009, it was not through our fault but because the transit state failed to ensure safe transit for our gas. I am not going to go into detail now.
When we started building Nord Stream 1, there was much speculation. I was surprised to learn that there were many opponents of this project in Germany itself. It is strange, because Germany decided to abandon nuclear generation plans then, which produced over 40 percent – I think it was 44 percent – of electricity. I could be wrong, but it was definitely over 40 percent. When you abandon nuclear generation, you need to have a replacement. What could it be? This is why natural gas, which is the lowest-impact primary source of energy, is in great demand in Germany and in the European market as a whole.
Is there any other reason for optimism regarding this project? Yes, it is the fact that demand will keep growing, including in Europe, whereas production is falling. Gas production is down in Britain, which is becoming a net importer, and in other countries. But it is growing in Russia. We have huge natural gas reserves of the global, yes global, scale. We have enough gas for ourselves, even considering the growing requirements of the Russian economy, and for our counteragents, the buyers of our gas.
Few people know this, because it is not said publicly, but Gazprom is supplying more gas to Europe than Russia or the Soviet Union ever did – over 600 million cubic metres a day. This is more than the Soviet Union ever supplied. And it is the best proof of the demand for this product.
As for the project’s opponents, they are influenced by political considerations. You have probably heard about the absolutely unsubstantiated idea that those who buy our gas become dependent on Russia. A foolish argument, because it is a case of interdependence.
If our clients become dependent on the seller, then we – the seller – become dependent on the buyer, because pipeline gas is supplied to a specific customer. Therefore, we depend on them. Simply put, we believe that everyone – the seller, the transit country and the buyer – should shoulder an equal share of responsibility.
I will not go into detail now, because it is a separate and very big subject, but it is clear to us. The countries that could provide transit are opposed to Nord Stream, because this pipeline will run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, bypassing possible transit countries. Had we built the pipeline on land, these countries would have benefited from transit fees.

The President toured the Makeyev State Rocket Centre in Miass, where he held a meeting on the centre’s activity.

Vladimir Putin. Meeting at the Makeyev State Rocket Centre.Putin in Chelyabinsk.
Putin. Meeting at the Makeyev State Rocket Centre.

Link: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53410
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Vladimir Putin took part in the launch of a new production line at the Eterno Plant in Chelyabinsk, which produces advanced components for ...

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