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Berdus I.V.

Berdus I.V. Ivan Vassilyevich Berdus (1906 - 1970) – a distinguished powerman of Kazakhstan

He was born on January 23rd, 1906 in Karpovichi village of Novozybkovsky district, Chernigovskoy province in the family of a peasant.

Ivan Vassilyevich started to work at the age of 15 as a drayman of transport material department in Slavgorod town. He entered Industrial Technical School of Omsk when he was 17.

Since the stipend he received was too little, he used to work as the laboratory assistant in his school during the entire 5-year period of his study. During the vacation and internship he worked as a fireman, milling machine operator, turner, power sector technician.

Upon graduation from technical school in 1928, he was sent to Ridder town to work as a power station electrician. Before the revolution, all energy sector of Ridder consisted of a locomobile power plant “Wolf” with the capacity of 40 horse power and a hydroturbine on a wooden supporting thrust bearing, which gave 100-200 kilowatt electricity. From the beginning of his work Ivan Vassilyevich demonstrated his main quality – he did his job devoting to it all his time and making all possible efforts.

He was energetic, initiative, strong-willed, resolute, especially in critical situation. In some difficult situations and contingencies he did all of the work himself and gave a lead to the other workers. He was kind and respectful in communication, a modest person and a manager. He was a good operation manager. He was a man of principle and always took a stand without thinking about superior managers.

At the beginning of his work, Ivan Vassilyevich noticed the problem and offered to join all of the electric equipment, which was scattered on the territory and made it work simultaneously which increased its reliability and economy. Works manager Novosadov was against this proposal. He said that it was impossible to activate simultaneously such equipment as hydroturbine with 500 revolutions per minute and steam turbines “Westinghause” with 3000 revolutions per minute and “Borsing” with 6000 revolutions per minute. He said that it is just like harness a horse and a bull together. But with the help of the plant’s director Mamburov the proposal of Ivan Vassilyevich was accepted and executed.

In 1928 Khariuzovskaya hydropower station, 3000 kilowatt, was brought into operation.

Since 1929 Ivan Vassilyevich served as assistant manager of steam-turbine plant and then he became a manager. Under his direction and participation boiler room and control room were expanded, Swedish turbine “De-Laval”, 2000 kilowatt, Russian OK-30, 3000 kilowatt and dust separator “Katrel” were assembled.

In 1930 reconstructed Bistrushinskaya hydropower station, 675 kilowatt, was brought into operation. This station was a part of steam-turbine plant.

In 1932 Nizhne-Khariuzovskaya hydropower station, 800 kilowatt, was brought into operation. Because of a huge electricity shortage schedule of preventive equipment repair was disrupted and even after emergency boiler shutdown, there was no time to wait for the full cooling-down of the boilers. So it was necessary to wear quilted clothes, felt boots, quilted hood and to do repair works inside of the boiler. Ivan Vassilyevich was the first to go into the boiler to set an example for workers.

To install the second chimney on steam-turbine plant it was necessary to go up at the top of the first chimney with the help of a rope and a block, install the other block and new rope to raise the second chimney. This work was very dangerous and managers gave 70 roubles to the person, who would do this work. At that time it was a huge sum of money. There was only one worker, who agreed to do this job – Vassiliy Pervushin, but later he refused to do that. So the job was done by the steam-turbine manager I.V. Berdus.

From February 1931 till August 1933 Ivan Vassilyevich was relieved from his job position because on the first congress of engineers of Kazakhstan he was elected to the territorial bureau of central engineering board of non-ferrous metal mining and processing union. He was appointed the senior secretary of territorial bureau and moved to Alma-Ata. In May 1931 due to a very hard situation in ore mining I.V. Berdus was appointed the head of a passage team that consisted of 50 people and whose goal was to ensure ore production and assist in pulling the ore mining complex out of the failure. This goal was achieved and Ivan Vassilyevich was a participant of the Union’s engineer congress of nonferrous metallurgy trade union as the chairman of territorial bureau.

When his term of work in the territorial bureau ended, he was sent to Ridder as the head of Upper and Lower Khariuzovskaya hydropower stations.

The biggest difficulty of exploitation of hydropower stations located on the Mountain Rivers, such as Khariuzovskaya hydropower station, is sludge ice phenomena, when chilled and overchilled dough-like water with small ice crystals loses its rate of motion, stops, freezes and fully blocks diversion canals and power conduits of hydropower station.

For the liquidation of damages it was necessary to free from work a lot of the workers of town’s enterprises and even miners. It was necessary to make manholes in diversion canals and power conduits, then to hollow out the ice and take it out. Prior to Ivan Vassilyevich ‘s appointment 5 managers of Khariuzovskaya hydropower station were discharged during a 6-year period due to the, including the accidents like this.

Since the startup of Khariuzovskaya hydropower station in 1928 nobody could make it work at its estimated capacity of 3000 kilowatt, it generated only 2450 kilowatt. In 1933, when I.V. Berdus was appointed the head of Upper and Lower Khariuzovskaya hydropower stations, he started to search for the reasons of capacity loss.

He tried some variants, but nothing worked. Finally, the reason was found and capacity of hydropower station reached its estimated point.

1934 year was very difficult due to sludge ice – the temperature was very low, there were a lot of snowfalls and avalanching in the gorge of the Gromotukha river. All staff of the hydropower station was thanked officially and Ivan Vassilyevich was awarded an introductory business trip to the North hydropower stations of the USSR.

In 1936 Ridder’s enterprise work was checked up by the Central Committee and the Soviet of national commissioners of USSR under the leadership of Shakhmuradov. They thanked I.V. Berdus officially for the exemplary work of Upper and Lower Khariuzovskaya hydropower stations and they recommended to the director of the enterprise to send him on a business trip to study the USA hydropower stations work.

In 1936 Ivan Vassilyevich became a temporary manager of steam power plant and Bystrushinskoy hydropower station without dismissal from his work as the head of Khariuzovskaya hydropower stations. This “temporary” work lasted for 4 years.

In 1933-1937 there was a very difficult situation with a fuel for steam power plant on the enterprise. There was no coal, so they used coke, firewoods, breeze coke and coke dust. In the end of 1937 there was a danger of steam power plant’s stoppage. Ivan Vassilyevich made an order to turn off the light in the flats of enterprise deputy director Mezhlauk, technical supply chief Sandomyrsky and rail transport chief to make them solve the problem with fuel supply. The next morning Ivan Vassilyevich was called to the enterprise director’s office: “You know that brother of enterprise deputy director is a Chairman of the Council of the USSR Ministers. He wants you out of this work and this town during the next 24 hours”. As a result, Ivan Vassilyevich accepted severe reprimand that was recorded in his personal file, but fuel supply after that became better. Only a recklessly brave man or a man in an absolute despair could make such a deed at the time of outburst of repressions all over the country.

The work of steam power plant always was unprofitable, but Ivan Vassilyevich made it profitable for the first time! For the first six months of 1936 the loss accounted for 700 000 roubles and for the second six month of 1936 the profit was more than 1 million roubles. He had a bonus for that and a tourist voucher to Yalta.

During his work at the enterprise Ivan Vassilyevich risked with his health and life – when he climbed at the high chimney or when many times he got into hot boiler, every winter in the time of sludge ice he used to break ice corks in the diversion canal, twice he was in the cold water, when at -40 C he went on a 80-kilometer ski trip to Maloulbinskoe reservoir to prevent the emergency situation. Once he covered with his back a jet of turbine oil with the pressure of 3 atmospheres. This jet stroke in the side of open construction generator, when the nut of pressure gauge was broken at the hydraulic unit of Lower Khariuzovskaya station.

For the work without emergency situations during the Second World War a lot of hydropower stations’ workers were awarded with the “For valorous work in the Great Patriotic War” medal, and so was I.V. Berdus.

In 1947 the construction of Tyshynskaya hydropower station started and Ivan Vassilyevich was appointed its director. In 1949 Tyshynskay hydropower station, 6150 kilowatt, was put into operation. After a few years due to remote control and telecontrol devices adoption, number of staff decreased 10 fold. There were only 3 workers instead of 30 and control of Tyshynskaya hydropower station work was made through the control panel on Khariuzovskaya hydropower station. In 1952 Ivan Vassilyevich was awarded with “For valorous work” medal.

In 1952-1953 he and a group of Khariuzovskaya and Ryshynskaya hydropower stations’ powermen went on a business trip to South Ossetia to provide them technical help in installation and startup of Big Kvoissinskaya hydropower station. At that time he was made the head of central authority.

In November 1953 when installation was over, at the temperature of -23 C and in spite of a huge technical risk I.V. Berdus decided to make a prewatering of derivation pipeline and a start up of Big Kvoissinskaya hydropower station. The first electricity was generated 6 month earlier than it was planned. In 1954 Ivan Vassilyevich was awarded with the “Labor Red Flag” order and he became a director of integrated Leninogorsk hydropower stations cascade, and Ulbinskaya hydropower station, 27000 kilowatt, was only one of them.

When development of virgin and long-fallow lands began, Ivan Vassilyevich didn’t take part in it, but 2/3 of hydropower stations’ cascade automobiles were sent there. In spite of this fact the cascade had to work at the same normal mode. In 1957 I.V. Berdus was awarded with the “For development of virgin and long-fallow lands” medal.

After the organization of Leninogorsk hydropower stations cascade Ivan Vassilyevich was responsible for making new integrated staff from considerably reducing the staff of the five plants.

The merger of Leninogorsk hydropower stations cascade not only made administration easier, but allowed reducing the staff three-fold. That happened mostly due to modern equipment installation, processes automation and innovations adoption.

After 12 years of Ivan Vassilyevich being the director of Leninogorsk hydropower stations cascade (in 1966) he was awarded with the order of Lenin. And in 1970 he was awarded with an anniversary medal for valorous work in honor of 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birth. All the enterprises under the management of I.V. Berdus worked without any emergency situations for 42 years. It seems so easy to work without any emergency situations, but only 9 years after I.V. Berdus’s death in 1979 the weir of Tishinksiy reservoir collapsed and then after 6 years 325 cm-diameter (3 meters 25 centimeters) wooden conduit was destroyed and Ulbinskaya hydropower station stopped its work. After this accident two directors of Leninogorsk hydropower stations cascade and director general of “Altaienergo” were dismissed.

In 1990, 20 years after the death of I.V. Berdus the chief of relay protection of automatics and mechanics service brigade V.S. Komlev (chief of production and technical department afterwards and the chief engineer of Leninogorsk hydropower stations cascade) wrote: “Berdus contributed in fail-safe work of power equipment of hydropower stations cascade… he had good managerial abilities, displayed gallantry in emergency. He was very kind and responsive”.

30 years after the death of Ivan Vassilyevich a memorial plaque in honor of I.V. Berdus was placed on Khariuzovskaya hydropower station’s building (first in Kazakhstan and second in the USSR after Volkhovskaya). It was him who was honored to make a startup of hydropower station on June 14th, 1928.

His biography is included into the encyclopedia “Powermen of Russia”. In this encyclopedia there are a lot of materials about specialists, who contributed a lot to the energy industry development.

The book of I.V. Berdus “The first power stations of Kazakhstan. Leninogorsk hydropower stations cascade” now is in the funds of Russian national library, in N.A.Nekrassov Public library in St. Petersburg and in the library of Moscow energy institute.