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Unified Energy System

July 24, 2003

A regular meeting of the Electricity Reform Roundtable was held on 23 July 2003

Moscow. 24 July. A regular meeting of the Electricity Reform Roundtable was held on 23 July 2003. It was hosted by RAO "UES of Russia". The Roundtable was attended by representatives of the Russian scientific elite. The Roundtable addressed the issues relating to the development of a model of a competitive electricity market in the transition period of the industry reform, as well as guidelines for the investment policy of RAO "UES of Russia". Scholars from the Russian Academy of Sciences, heads of Russia's major scientific and research institutes, representatives from ministries and departments of the Russian Government took part in the discussion. Among them were Director of the Central Economics and Mathematics Institute, Academician-Secretary V.L. Makarov; Research Manager of the Higher School of Economics E.G. Yasin; Director General of AO "Krzhizhanovsky Energy Institute" E.P. Volkov and others. From RAO "UES of Russia", the Roundtable was attended by Deputy Chairmen of the Management Board Ya.M. Urinson and S.K. Dubinin, and Director General of ZAO "CDR FOREM" V.V. Khlebnikov.

In the course of the discussion, the representatives of the scientific community confirmed the need to liberalize the Russian energy industry and create favourable conditions for attracting investments in the sector. Several of useful comments and suggestions were made in the discussion of the market model for the transition period. Scholars pointed to the necessity of a comprehensive analysis of interaction between the wholesale and retail electricity markets while developing the Rules for operation of the wholesale market. The Roundtable noted that the launch of the market's competitive segment will help refine the interaction among wholesale market participants during the transition period, when state regulation of the tariffs will be preserved alongside with the free market pricing. The Rules must ensure that a balanced electricity price is established, which takes into account the interests of both large and small consumers. The Roundtable participants stated that market electricity prices ought to stimulate the inflow of investments in the industry and include the funds needed for the sector's development.

They also expressed their concern over the low rate of renewal of fixed assets in the electricity industry. The results of examination of the energy facilities of RAO "UES of Russia" presented at the Roundtable demonstrated that, as a result of decommissioning of fixed assets, some areas in the European part of Russia are expected to experience shortage of capacities as early as 2007. Speakers pointed out several alternative methods of attracting investments in the energy sector. One of the key points of the discussion was the mechanism for guaranteeing investments proposed by RAO "UES of Russia" and supported by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation. The Roundtable participants agreed that this approach was the most promising one for the transition period of the electricity industry reform.

In conclusion, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of RAO "UES of Russia Yakov Urinson noted the importance of discussing the issues of the electricity industry reform with representatives of the nation's scientific elite. He emphasized that the important points made during the discussion would be communicated to the team developing the Rules for Operation of the Electricity Market.

The next Roundtable meeting is scheduled for late September. The management of RAO "UES of Russia" and representatives of the scientific community will discuss the Rules for Operation of the Electricity Market, the strategy for the development of the Federal Grid Company and the outlook for the development of the industry as a whole.




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