14 Sep 2009 16:00

Russian industry could face 6%-8% hike in electricity tariffs in 2010

MOSCOW. Sept 14 (Interfax) - The regulated electricity tariff for industrial consumers in Russia could rise 6%-8% instead of a planned 5% in 2010, a source from the government's financial and economics section told Interfax.

The Finance Ministry, Economic Development Ministry and federal Tariffs Service (FTS) should reach a compromise on this issue by the end of September.

The source said the issue of tariffs growth in 2010 was still being discussed. "The horizon [for the discussion between departments and agencies] is a week or two at most. The tariff will remain unchanged at 10% for households but regulated tariffs for industry could go up 6%-8%," he said. The source said 6%-7% growth would be ideal, but that 8% was possible. "This is just the after-effect of the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP accident - there might be further discussion," he said.

Overall, regulated tariffs and market prices could average up 15%-16% for all consumers in 2010.

It was reported earlier that a 5% hike in electricity rates for industry was approved for 2010 (compared with 19% for 2009) and a 10% increase for household consumers (25%). Regulated tariffs and prices on the free market in 2010 are forecast to increase 11.5%-13% in 2010.

In early September Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said rates on electricity for industry might rise 7%. The accident at Sayano-Shushenskaya should not be viewed as the direct cause of the potential rate hike, he said. "I believe that's wrong. This has no direct link to Sayano-Shushenskaya," he said.