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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia's Rising Crime Gives Honeywell Secure Foothold

Crumbling infrastructure and rising crime usually scare businesses away. But U.S.-based Honeywell Inc. has found a welcome home for its security and control devices in the social upheavals that have wracked Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. "This represents a good possibility for us," Honeywell Chairman Michael Bonsignore said at a press conference Monday. Bonsignore said the company, which produces and installs security and control systems for homes, buildings and industry, expects business to grow by double digits each year as individuals seek to protect themselves with sophisticated equipment and local governments seek ways to change their wasteful use of resources. Honeywell, which first opened a Moscow office in 1974, is also selling its avionics equipment and industrial monitoring systems and plans to invest in a Russian factory soon to build temperature control valves in Russia. The company chalked up 1993 revenues of $20 million in the Commonwealth of Independent States, representing a double-digit increase over 1992 results. Bonsignore said the company, which so far has invested $5 million in Russia, sees one of its ripest opportunities in reforming the country's antiquated heating system: "The urgency of energy conservation in former Warsaw Pact countries has never been more profound." Honeywell announced Monday that it had completed a $3 million heating regulation project in the Moscow suburb of Tushino, a pilot program that it hopes will show the Russian government the benefits of energy regulation. Honeywell, its Russian partner Agrokhim and the local district each put up $1 million to fund Honeywell's outfitting of the Tushino district heating plant with a computer controlled system of valves, sensors, pumps and regulators that it says can reduce energy expenditures by at least 20 percent. Currently, Russian apartments have no heating controls and their temperature is determined by outputs of a central heating facility. Even during the winter it is not unusual to see open windows in apartment buildings as residents seek to cool their apartments. Last Friday, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg announced that it had signed a contract with Honeywell to install fire and security systems. Under the agreement, Honeywell will donate $500,000 towards the $2.5 million project cost, Bonsignore said.