“How could this ever happen?” Vladimir Putin asked conference participants a year ago about a fire in the Winter Cherry shopping center. It turned out that a week before the tragedy the fire alarm was turned off. The president demanded that officials “properly deal with this.”
As Forbes found out, commercial structures were also puzzled by the issue of fire safety in crowded places. For about a year, the holding of longtime acquaintance of Putin, Matthias Warnig, together with Rostec, is developing a national fire protection system and is already ready to test it in the Tula region.
In late February, Fortes Pro LLC was registered in Moscow. The company MTV Fire Safety, a member of MTV Holding, became the controlling shareholder of the company. The blocking package "Fortes Pro" went to the "daughter" member of Rostec, RT-Invest.
“We have a rather passive function, we are participating with technologies,” said Andrei Shipelov, general director and co-owner of RT-Invest, Forbes. According to him, Fortes Pro actively promotes the MTV group.
The goal of Fortes Pro is to create a national control system for fire-fighting equipment, Vasily Tsuprik, managing partner of MTV, told Forbes. The idea was born about a year ago. MTV assembled a professional team, hired consultants from the Fortes company (specializing in fire protection), and began to develop. And then suggested Shipelova to unite efforts.
MTV required RT-Invest technology to transfer data over long distances, explains Zuprik. “We developed it for the Plato project,” says Shipelov. Tsuprik and Shipelov are long-time friends and business partners. Tsuprik oversaw the creation of RT-Invest at Rostec, and then moved to the company as the first deputy Shipelov.
Shipelov believes that Zuprik is "a good example of a successful person." In 2014, he moved from RT-Invest to Rosneft as vice president, and three years later he launched his own business. Together with another native of Rosneft, Thomas Handel and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the state-owned company Mattias Warnig founded MTV for investments in high-tech companies.
Zuprik and Hendel are actively involved in the operations of MTV. And Warnig, a former intelligence officer from the GDR and long-time acquaintance of Vladimir Putin, does not take part in the management of the holding. In the fall of 2018, Shipelov and Zuprik presented Fortes Pro to another long-time acquaintance and colleague of the president for work in the GDR.
In October 2018, Shipelov and Tsuprik reported on Fortes Pro to the head of Rostec, Sergey Chemezov. According to Tsuprik, he not only supported the project, "but also noted the importance and timeliness of creating such a system." Forbes appealed to Rostec for comment.
The point is to create a large-scale software package that will include a single database of all devices and elements of fire protection systems and will be able to analyze them. Predict the risks of fires, carry out online monitoring of fire automatics systems and report on fires to the Emergencies Ministry and the public, Tsuprik lists. The data will be accessed by the Emergencies Ministry, and the operator will be Fortes Pro.
According to Tsuprik's idea, all participants of the fire protection market - manufacturers and equipment suppliers, design and service organizations, building owners should unite in the system. The priority task is to ensure security at facilities with a massive presence of people, says the managing partner of MTV. First of all, in shopping and business centers.
MTV is going to test the system in the Tula region. “The region is focused on innovation, and its leader supports solutions that provide additional protection for the population,” explains Zuprik’s choice.
According to Forbes, in February, Sergey Chemezov sent a letter to EMERCOM Head Evgeny Zinichev, asking him to support the project and help with the pilot in the Tula Region. The head of Rostec indicates that the working name of the system is Prometheus. The state corporation confirmed sending a letter. The press service of the governor of the Tula region was not aware of the upcoming pilot. The Ministry of Emergency Situations did not respond to a request from Forbes.
Zuprik assesses the costs of a pilot “at several hundred million rubles” and emphasizes that the state funds will not be used “neither at the stage of its implementation, nor during operation”. The issue of recoupment is not yet worth it, Tsuprik emphasizes: “The most important technological task is to create such a system.”
When, if not today
The problem is ripe, sure Zuprik: "After the tragedy in the shopping center" Winter Cherry "everyone understood that there was such a time bomb in every region." The current fire support system is outdated, he said: “50 years ago there were no such shopping centers with cinemas, playgrounds, technically sophisticated equipment, heating devices, and there were not so many visitors.”
Modern shopping centers are already equipped with software products that monitor the status of fire protection systems online and alert the Emergencies Ministry, the president of the Russian Council of Shopping Centers, Bulat Shakirov, said. He estimates that in Russia there are about a thousand shopping centers that meet all the norms and requirements. Approximately the same number of objects can hardly be considered “professional,” says Shakirov: “They need to pay maximum attention to them.”
The decision is unlikely to be claimed by the owners of modern real estate, agrees Victor Kozin, vice president of Nai Becar. They already have centralized control rooms. However, the decision may be of interest MOE. As a rule, the resources of state customers are limited, so it is possible that the government will shift the cost of business, Kozin says.
All costs of creating the system will be borne by private investors, says Zuprik. The decision on monetization has not yet been made. One option would be to introduce a fee for connecting or using the system. According to Tsuprik, project scaling will take several years.
According to an anonymous source of Forbes who is familiar with the project, the cost of equipping one object can be about 5 million rubles. If you use the estimates Shakirova from the Russian Council of Shopping Centers, it turns out a potential market of billions of rubles.
The technology must first show its effectiveness before scaling to the whole country, said a representative of Rostec: "However, the company implementing this project has all the necessary basis for its successful implementation."
Kozin doubts that Fortes Pro can centrally collect information: too many different systems. As an example, Kozin cites obsolete objects of the 70s built without modernization and overhaul: "How do you collect the signal from there?"