Anton Atrashkin: At EXPO-2017, the Russian Federation Will Present Unique Russian Arctic
At EXPO-2017 that will be held this summer in Astana, the Russian exposition will be among the largest. It will showcase the national energy potential by presenting the unique natural Russian Arctic region, according to the information provided by Anton Atrashkin,the Business Program Director of Russian EXPO-2017 Participation,in his TASS interview.
— It has been announced that the Russian pavilion will be among the largest at EXPO-2017. What will it feature?
— Russia will indeed build one of the largest pavilions. It will have two levels, and the total exposition area will exceed 1000 sq. m. We believe that it will provide enough space to demonstrate our national energy potential and show that Russia possesses not only extensive natural resources, but also a plethora of advanced technologies. Of course, we would not want to reveal everything that we have prepared for pavilion visitors. Let it be a surprise for them. But I can tell you that amid the hot Astana summer we will recreate the vast spaces of the Russian North and even provide our guests with the opportunity to see and touch an actual iceberg. But the main focus of the exposition is, of course, not Russia’s natural beauty. We will use the Russian Arctic as the background for showcasing the latest Russian energy technologies.
—The pavilion will be split into sections. How many of them?
— Our first floor area will be split into nine blocks dedicated to the Arctic and its place in the Russian history, petroleum products, hydropower, nuclear power, and renewable energy sources; we have also designed separate blocks for souvenirs and merchandizing. One section will house temporary week-long exhibitions showcasing a Russian company or region. The second floor will accommodate the Commissioner General and conference events. Construction will start in a week, the first test drive is scheduled for the end of April, and by mid-May the pavilion should be ready for operation.
— What Russian companies will take part in EXPO-2017?
— A few companies, such as Rosatom, Rosseti, Transneft, Uralkali, and Uralchem, have confirmed their participation as key partners of the exposition. Rosatom will present Russia’s unique nuclear navy. Uralkali and Uralchem will organize an interactive display that will show how their fertilizers give life to various plants. Rosseti will focus on power generation, storage, and transmission potential. Transneft will use the EXPO as the site for the annual meeting of the International Association of Oil Transporters (IAOT). Simply put, we will do our best to make our exposition both interesting and educational.
— What Russian regions have expressed their willingness to partake in the exhibition?
— The regions that have already confirmed their participation include the Republic of Tatarstan, Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk Regions, and Saint Petersburg. They will present expositions promoting the regions themselves and local energy companies. We will also team up to create displays on Smart City, Smart Home, Smart Transportation, and Smart Urban Infrastructure.
— What will be the Russian pavilion’s take on the EXPO theme of Future Energy?
— We will have weekly events spread across 12 theme tracks. Each week will focus on a specific theme: human energy, hydropower, smart city, natural gas, Caspian energy space, nuclear power, accessible energy, energy storage, power engineering, petroleum transport, efficient generation, and future energy systems. We hope to cover all topical issues of the global energy agenda over the course of 12 weeks.
— Will the exposition feature renewable energy sources?
— We seek to present not only traditional energy sources (oil, gas, and coal) which will retain their role as basic resources in the global energy balance for many years to come, but intend to address renewable energy sources as well. Based on the current share of renewable energy sources in its energy balance, Russia has yet to become a world leader, but we have multiple advanced projects in this area. For example, Hevel LLC of the Renova Group has been successfully developing solar batteries, and Rosatom has been working on the development of windpowerfacilities. Our research centers, such as Skolkovo and Tomsk University, have a lot of interesting projects. We are positive that they will also be represented at the exhibition.
— What events will Russia organize as the EXPO-2017 international partner?
— We are coordinating our efforts with Kazakhstani organizers, and our events will be included in the general EXPO program. Moreover, all Russian events will be actually international as they will feature not just Russian speakers, but also experts and corporate representatives from Europe, the U.S., Asia, and Arabic countries.
— What can we expect of the Russian Day at the EXPO?
— At the exhibition, each country hosts its national day by organizing a plethora of cultural and business events. We expect that top Russian officials will join us on September 8, the Russian Day at the EXPO. We are also preparing a number of business events and an extensive cultural program.
— What is your assessment of the Russian tourists’ interest in the Astana exhibition?
— We believe that there is a lot of interest. I come to Astana a lot and can trace the development of the city with skyscrapers being added to the skyline and malls being opened virtually every six months. I am confident that Russia will supply the largest number of foreign EXPO visitors and know that Kazakhstani organizers worked hard to promote the exhibition in our country. I think that a lot of tourists will come from regions that border with Kazakhstan. EXPO is a wonderful opportunity for visiting Astana, witnessing the change of this “new Asian Hong Kong,” and learning something new.