28 Aug 2009 13:29

Russian govt for swift transition to RAB tariffs for grid cos

MOSCOW. Aug 28 (Interfax) - The Russian government is in favor of a swift transition to Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) tariffs for companies like the Federal Grid Company (FGC) and regional grids, a source with knowledge of the situation told Interfax following a meeting on electricity tariffs in 2010 on Thursday, chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

"This is the only decision that was passed - the transition to RAB tariffs," the source said.

The source told Interfax that no specific decisions regarding electricity tariff adjustments in 2010 following the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP disaster were reached. "There are no plans yet to adjust the parameters of indexation in 2010, but various options are being weighed up in connection with the recent accident," he said.

The FGC and the Inter-District Grid Company Holding (IDGC Holding) were unwilling to comment on the prospects for a speedy transition to RAB tariffs which, unlike the current, economically substantiated tariffs, are expected to stimulate investment as they are based on return on invested capital.

The FGC had planned to switch to the new tariff regulation from 2010. One market watcher said this was probably still the case because the company would not be able to complete the necessary formalities this year.

IDGC Holding chief Nikolai Shvets said in June that Lenenergo , Moscow Unified Grid Company (MOESK) and Tyumenenergo planned to make the switch to RAB in 2010. Other grid companies discussed this at the start of 2009, but decisions were not reached due to the changing market environment since then.

Eight pilot local grids controlled by IDGC Holding are currently testing the new tariff regulation system: Tverenergo, Lipetskenergo, Belgorodenergo, Permenergo, Tulenergo, Ryazanenergo, Astrakhanenergo and Yaroslavenergo.