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Russian National Grid Chief Paints Gloomy Picture in Power Supply This Winter

Oct 6, 2006 - BBC Monitoring

Excerpt from report by Russian external TV service NTV Mir

(Presenter) There may be some restrictions in electricity supplies this winter, the head of the Unified Energy Systems of Russia, Anatoliy Chubays, said today. A nationwide conference of energy sector employees is under way at one of the hotels in Moscow Region. Our correspondent Vladimir Kobyakov reports live now in our programme. Vladimir, what the reasons behind the possible cuts are and what regions will be affected.

[Correspondent] The managers of all regional energy companies have gathered here in Moscow Region. They are discussing preparations for the coming winter. Anatoliy Chubays made a speech at the start of the conference. He said straight away that the coming winter will be unprecedentedly difficult. He said bluntly that electricity supplies to 16 regions of Russia may be restricted. What's more, the situation in five of them may be very difficult. These regions are Moscow, St Petersburg, Tyumen, Krasnodar and Yekaterinburg. This is how he commented on the situation.

[Chubays] Unfortunately, restrictions in power supplies to major consumers are inevitable this winter. However, the main principle is to do this in such a way that mass consumers, the population, the housing utilities sector and vital state facilities do not experience them in any form whatsoever. And we have proved during some super-cold winters that we know how to do it.

[Correspondent] The company managers note that since the start of this year energy consumption in Russia has increased by 4.5 per cent, and in Moscow by 8 per cent. For the first time ever the Russian power plants may not be able to produce enough energy this winter and the company will be forced to buy electricity abroad. What's more, electricity import may be several times higher than its export. This is what the technical director of the Unified Energy Systems of Russia has said.

[Boris Vaynzikher] If the increase in energy consumption continues to be high, over the next few years we will probably have to import more electricity than to export. [Passage omitted]

[Correspondent] Anatoliy Chubays also said today how much the reform of the energy network in Russia will cost. The figure is R2,100bn, which is 50 per cent more that the Russian Stabilization Fund, and the Unified Energy System of Russia is now getting ready to look for investments. [Passage omitted]

[c/r 111619-111650 In a report broadcast by Russian Channel One at 1100 gmt Anatoliy Chubays said that the company has decided to revise its export-import strategy. "The task is to provide the domestic Russian market with electricity, which will probably mean in practice for the first time in the company's existence a move from pure exports to pure imports. And at the same time, we, of course, have to observe all our contracts, all our commitments to international suppliers. We value the reputation of a reliable partner and will maintain it. However, the strategy will be implemented in favour of the Russian market."]

(c) 2006 BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved. Source: BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union Rate this article:

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