Usolye-Sibirskoye, Russia


Usolye-Sibirskoye (Bur. Dabgan) is a city in the Irkutsk region of Russia. Until 2016 - the administrative center of the Usolsky district, which is not included. Forms a separate municipal formation, the city of Usolye-Sibirskoye, with the status of an urban district as the only settlement in its composition.

Population - 76,047 people. (2020), area - 7.4 thousand hectares.



The city is located 70 km north-west of Irkutsk, on the left bank of the Angara River, on the P255 Siberia Federal Highway and the Trans-Siberian Railway. The city has the Usolye-Sibirskoye station of the East Siberian railway.



Oikonym Usolye-Sibirskoe was formed by tracing the Buryat name Dabhan.

Usolye-Sibirskoye is one of the oldest cities in the Angara region, founded in 1669 by the Yenisei Cossacks brothers Anisim and Gabriel Mikhalev, who discovered a salt spring on the banks of the Angara and built a salt brewhouse here. In 1682, after the death of Gabriel, the craft was sold to the Irkutsk merchant Ivan Ushakov, who was named after the Ushakovka River in Irkutsk. In 1704, the Abbot of the Irkutsk Ascension Monastery, Makarii, secured the transfer of the right to boil salt to the monastery.

Since 1765, the plant entered the state administration and the labor of exiled convicts began to be used there. In August 1826, the first group of Decembrists arrived in Irkutsk. Due to the lack of direct instructions from the government about the place of installation of the Decembrists, the Irkutsk governor decided to send two of them - E.P. Obolensky and A.M. Yakubovich - to the Usolsk salt plant, they were here until October 1826, until Nicholas I received an order to send all participants in the uprising at the Nerchinsky mine. The remains of the Decembrist PF Gromnitsky (1803-1851) are buried in Usolye.

The writer N. G. Chernyshevsky was also exiled to Usolye. At that time, a prominent representative of the revolutionary underground P.G.Zaichnevsky lived in exile in Usolye. Together with N. G. Chernyshevsky, Ya. A. Ushakov served hard labor in Usolye.

In the second half of the 19th century, especially after the abolition of serfdom, the labor of exiled convicts began to be replaced by more productive wage labor in Siberian factories. This became the impetus for the further development of the industry in Siberia. New production facilities began to open in Usolye, primarily for leather processing. Some of the inhabitants of the village of Usolya were engaged in peasant farming, carriage, forestry, and the most prosperous kept inns. For some time, the export of salt to various regions of the country was hampered by the absence of a railway station in Usolye. Only in 1900 a railway siding was opened in Usolye, and the railway station "Angara" (as the station Usolye-Sibirskoye was called until 1957) with all its buildings and communications appeared only in 1903. There was another enterprise in the pre-revolutionary Usolye - the match factory "Solntse". Before the revolution of 1917, the Menshevik I.G. Tsereteli, later the Minister of Post and Telegraph of the Provisional Government, the Socialist-Revolutionary A.R. Gots, the Menshevik A.E. Popov, the Bolshevik G.L. Pyatakov and his wife E. B. Bosch.

After the Civil War, the restoration of old industries and the creation of new ones began in Usolye. The largest was the construction of a chemical plant. The plant was intended for the production of ethyl liquid. The first stage of the plant for the production of these products was adopted by the state commission at the end of 1936. An important event in the life of the city was the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR dated April 25, 1940 on the allocation of the city of Usolye from regional subordination to the regional one and giving it the name Usolye-Sibirskoye (Usolye became a city of regional subordination in 1925). After the end of the Great Patriotic War, all efforts were directed to the restoration and further development of the national economy. In Usolye, they began to reconstruct old and build new enterprises: a mining equipment plant, a brick plant, a brewery and others. The chemical plant launched the production of oxygen, chloronaphthalene, hydrochloric acid, ethyl chloride, golovax and perhydrol.

From 1947 to 1953, a camp was located near the city, which was part of the GULAG system.

In the 1950s, within the framework of the decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of January 17, 1955, "On the recruitment of workers in the People's Republic of China to participate in communist construction and labor training in the USSR", Chinese workers worked at factories and construction sites in the city.

The town-forming enterprise of Usolye-Sibirskoye was the Usoliekhimprom plant. In the 1990s, he entered a period of crisis, but continued to work, the number of employees decreased from 11 thousand to 7.7 thousand people. The mercury electrolysis workshop with an area of ​​more than a hectare was decommissioned in 1998 and ceased to be listed on the balance sheet of the enterprise, now it poses a high environmental hazard. Since 2014, emissions of chlorine compounds and other toxic substances have been regularly recorded at the industrial site of the former Usoliekhimprom. Under the building of the former shop of mercury electrolysis, mercury is still trapped by clay.


In November 2002, external surveillance was introduced at Usoliekhimprom, and in the spring of 2003 the company was declared bankrupt. The property of the enterprise put up for auction in October of the same year was bought out by the Nitol company. The new management continued to reduce unprofitable production and by 2008 the company employed 4.5 thousand people. In 2010, chemical production was practically stopped.

In 2005, Nitol announced a course for the creation of high-tech materials for the solar energy and electronic industries instead of chlorine chemistry. On the basis of Usoliekhimprom, LLC Usolye-Sibirskiy Silicon appeared and the Solar Silicon project was launched. In 2006, the planned annual production volume of polysilicon was 5 thousand tons. In 2008, the first batch of polysilicon was obtained at a pilot site with a capacity of 300 tons. The company was able to attract more than RUB 13 billion in financing. (including from Rusnano, Alfa-Bank, and then Sberbank). However, in the same period, the world market saw a sharp drop in prices for polysilicon - from $ 400 per kilogram in 2006 to $ 80 in 2009 and $ 16 in 2011. In December 2012, the management of "Nitol" announced the mothballing of the production of polysilicon, having notified about the reduction by February 2013 of 1,284 people.