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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mosenergo Says Fire Cost $30M

Moscow utility Mosenergo said Monday that it would press its case for a tariff hike to increase investment after a fire knocked out a block of one of its biggest power stations over the weekend.

A technical failure caused an oil fire at the 1,885 megawatt condensate plant near Kashira, southwest of Moscow, on Saturday, temporarily cutting heat supplies to the town and taking one of the plant's seven blocks offline for the winter.

Mosenergo chief executive Arkady Yevstafyev said he sent regulators a letter demanding rate hikes to let the utility boost capital investment to 10 billion rubles ($320 million) from 5.9 billion rubles this year.

"We want to remind everyone that the only source of investment for us is tariffs. There is a tariff and there is an investment component," Yevstafyev said.

Mosenergo chief engineer Igor Goryunov said the utility would have to spend 1 billion rubles out of next year's budget to repair the damage after the roof over the turbine collapsed in the fire.

"This accident should serve as a serious warning for everyone, including the authorities and the organizations that regulate tariffs for the power sector. We can't live like this," Goryunov said.

The Kashira station was originally built in the 1920s as part of Vladimir Lenin's plan to "electrify" Russia to speed industrialization.

The block that burned on Saturday was built in 1967 and is past its planned service life, Goryunov said.