Moscow, 21 January. Today, CEO of RAO "UES of Russia" Anatoly Chubais held a meeting with Ulyanovsk Region Governor Vladimir Shamanov and Director General of OAO "SMUEK"* Vladimir Avetisyan to discuss the relationships between OAO "Ulyanovskenergo", the Region's administration and consumers.
The parties noted serious problems with heat and electricity payments: in 2002, the amount of debt owed by Ulyanovsk Region's consumers to the regional energo increased RUB 91.2 mln. At the same time, the meeting participants said that the payments situation has improved in certain consumer groups, primarily, state-financed entities.
In view of the problems faced by the Ulyanovsk Region administration in fulfilling the 2003 budget, the parties agreed in principle to allow some consumers to postpone their energy payments until the end of the current year.
Special attention was paid to the attempts by several large industrial enterprises in the region to become independent participants of the Federal Wholesale Electricity Market ("FOREM"). The Ulyanovsk Region Administration, RAO "UES of Russia", and OAO "SMUEK" have common views on this situation: it is premature to let the bulk consumers enter FOREM, as it is likely to destabilize the regional energy market and drive the electricity tariffs up, primarily for households. The parties view such attempts as economically unreasonable at the moment and fraught with negative consequences.
The conference also reviewed the financial position of Ulyanovsk Region's housing and public utility entities. RAO "UES OF RUSSIA" noted the decision by the Region's administration to assume the liabilities of housing and public utilities to OAO "Ulyanovskenergo".
CEO of RAO "UES of Russia", Ulyanovsk Region Governor and Director General of OAO "SMUEK" agreed to hold a further meeting in Ulyanovsk in the near future to discuss with all parties concerned the issues taken up at today's conference.
* OAO "SMUEK" – OAO "Middle-Volga Interregional Energy Management Company", collective management body of the power companies located in Middle-Volga area, including OAO "Ulyanovskenergo".