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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oversight of Power Industry May Be Increased

Itar-TassUES chief executive Chubais talking to reporters Tuesday after an energy sector reform conference in Moscow.
The State Duma will "soon" consider a draft law that would increase the state's oversight of the power industry and create an independent body to act as an electricity watchdog, an official said Tuesday.

The breakup of national utility Unified Energy Systems, due to cease operations by July 2008, will create a gap in monitoring that the state should fill, UES CEO Anatoly Chubais told reporters Tuesday.

"The industry needs regulating, and that role can and should be assumed by the state," Chubais said. "I don't know if it will be the Industry and Energy Ministry or another state body, but it should have increased powers."

The government is selling its shares in thermal power generation and power retail to focus on electricity distribution. The government wants private investors to fund additional power capacity in the country, whose electricity needs are forecast to grow by as much as 5 percent per year. A government ministry would oversee the electricity market together with an independent watchdog, Chubais said.

The government plans to let electricity prices for industrial and corporate customers advance to reflect increased production costs and demand. It is said it would keep state-fixed prices for domestic users unchanged.

Chubais also said Tuesday that UES planned to break up four interregional distributing grid companies into 11 separate distribution firms in a bid to improve efficiency, Prime-Tass news agency reported.

The distribution companies would be created as wholly owned subsidiaries of UES and be managed by the Federal Grid Company, the agency said.

Bloomberg, MT