Vladimir Alexandrovich Albrecht, ex-chief engineer of the Western Thermal Complex, shared his memories

In March, the WTC celebrated its 50th anniversary – a beautiful round date, behind which lies a rich history, the lives and destinies of people who have connected their work path with energy.

Initially, the WTC was a Steam Power shop at the ACPP, I came in August 1971. On March 1, 1972, the boiler house was transferred to the Heating networks, because it was during this period that the city began to grow, microdistricts appeared, it was necessary to give stable heat to new areas. ACPP was not an energy company and it was decided to transfer the boiler house to the energy sector. ACPP was built in 1964-65 and 1,2,3,4 microdistricts were built to it. These were historical times, builders and weavers from different parts of the Union gathered during the construction. Those who came from Ukraine also worked at our company – Yuri Marchenko, Gennady Sitnikov.

At the origins of the construction of the WTC were very professionals in their field Viktor Vetlugin, Ivan Shchichko, Vladimir Perekrestov, Armen Aitoyan. In 1972, Almatyenergo ordered a project to install the 4th boiler. The boiler was built for two years, put into operation in 1974, then a gasification project was started. They built their own gas distribution point, dismantled the old shields where the new steam room is now, there were power feed pumps and the shield of the hot water boiler No.3. In 1975, the expansion of the South-Western District Boiler House began. A project was made for the pumping station of the Central Distribution Point and the 5th boiler was put into operation. In 1976-77, 6, 7, 8 boilers were also introduced.

The central distribution point was not immediately part of the WTC, it belonged to the Heating Networks, although we fought for it, but we were told that we were supervising too much. They laid a project where it was necessary to remove the pumps from the Western District boiler house, but it did not go through hydraulics in any way.

WTC was built relatively quickly. Installation construction work was carried out by Sugresstroy. And the staff at that time was preparing an energy college, most of them had a technical education. Students mostly came to the direction, practiced, many stayed to work. Later, when the CHHP-2 appeared, some went to the station, there were more attractive conditions: they gave out housing, the salary was higher.

There were also funny situations when they joked about newcomers and old-timers. One day in the morning he came on a detour and hears the protection worked, and then gasification had just begun, there it was necessary to turn it to increase, and the employee Papin A., who was then over 70 years old, turned it on the contrary – to decrease and the protection worked, the alarm went off. Some old-timers mastered new equipment with such a creak and were so against installing protection, they were confused that they had such mistakes.

Instrumentation staff also made a great contribution, this is Alexander Kuzmich Belov, he was like a father to me, my mentor, this man went through the whole war. Later there were Vladimir Perekrestov, Vladimir Kochergin, Peter Ananin, who were specialists in their field.

Before the start of the CHHP-2, the WTC worked all year round and used all its power. All our boilers were working, at that time we gave more heat than CHHP-2, then slowly, but not immediately, CHHP-2 gained momentum.

Up until 2000, we worked at full capacity, the winters were cold so as not to freeze. Kipov devices, covered them with padded jackets, then drilled gas pipes and ran batteries along the windows. Western district boiler room was of a semi-open type and it was very cold, inside the walls were icy.

There were a lot of problems due to the quality of the water that came from the CHHP-2, every two or three years it was necessary to cut convectors and screens that fell into disrepair, there were mountains of scrap metal. CHHP-2 prepared water for their needs, but for us – it was deadly. I have always raised this issue and only under Nurlan Taufikovich Mukhamed-Rakhimov, this problem was solved. We started to introduce an inhibitor of mineral salt deposition and there were fewer failures.

Difference between WTC and other energy companies consists only in the type of water sampling. In other cities, for example in Moscow, there is a closed water intake, we have an open one. The closed type is more economical, the open type implies the costs of chemical water treatment for boilers. In the closed type, water turns in the circuit and gives off heat and is added only to leak into the system, and when open, it must be constantly added. The closed type is more reliable for boilers, once to make good water quality without spending a lot of chemicals. We had a large chemical workshop.

Energy differs from other spheres in that it is a collective sphere, and depends on each employee involved in obtaining energy, these are boilermakers, kipovtsy, chemists, and gas workers in general, the entire production. Duty shifts should be responsible to other shifts. The organization of work should be built so as not to be dependent on one person. There must be interchangeability.

We must do everything to make energy more economical and apply knowledge in this area, because other areas depend on it. And I would like to hope that our sphere will fully return to public administration, such an important sphere cannot be given to foreigners in any way. Kazakhstan is nowhere without energy!