16 Jul 2009 14:27

RusHydro files application to raise tariffs by 6% in 2010

MOSCOW. July 16 (Interfax) - OJSC RusHydro has applied with the Federal Tariffs Service to increase its tariffs in 2010 by 6%, the company's acting CEO, Vasily Zubakin, said in an interview with the television station Vesti-24.

"The application for our primary operations next year has been submitted with an increase of only 6% in relation to 2009," he said during the interview.

"We will support operations with our own money," Zubakin said.

He added that investment periods next year would almost entirely depend on how spending programs are adjusted in view of facilities and the timing of their launch, as well as the situation on financial markets.

"The most important [point] is how much money will be received from the consumers on this or that tariff. There is already a signal about these problems [of non-payment] today," Zubakin said.

Zubakin said that several enterprises, or their owners, often do not pay citing the crisis as a reason. Such companies, at the same time, engage in high investment through buying new assets.

"The most offensive is when those who don't pay at the same time can afford to implement some investment through acquiring facilities in an other region and making capital expenditures. It seems that these investments are made at our expense," the head of RusHydro said.

Zubakin cited consumers in Chuvashia, where RusHydro's wholesale subsidiary operates as an example of such behavior. Payment fulfillment in Chuvashia currently comes to 93%. However, several machine-building enterprises such as Tractor Plants and Khimprom have not been paying.

"It is possible to win back money through the courts," Zubakin said, adding that RusHydro would pursue this course of action. However, the court process in such cases can take up to two or three years, he added.

He said that consumer debt to RusHydro currently comes to over 3 billion rubles. "This is more than our tax payments over several months and 50% higher than the repair program," Zubakin added.

OJSC RusHydro is state controlled and unites the majority of Russia's hydroelectric facilities.