Peretok Light: highlights of the Russian and global power sectors for 4 to 10 March
The decision by Ulyanovsk Region to slash energy tariffs was one of the most talked about issues in the energy sector early this year. Governor Sergey Morozov had earlier enlisted the Pricing Control and Monitoring Center (thought to have close ties to business ombudsman Boris Titov) as the expert organization, whose analysis was used by the region to cut tariffs by 30% on average. The decision was considered populist not only by power companies operating in the region (primarily T Plus); the practice of revising tariffs based on the organization’s analysis could be extended to other regions as well. Several high-ranking regional officials were opposed to the tariff reduction, but Morozov did not heed their calls, sources told Peretok. The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has opened an investigation. That the tariffs in Ulyanovsk Region were not properly calculated became clear as early as February, one source said. The rates will probably be revised (raised) in the coming months. However, power companies should not expect compensation for missed income during the period the low rates were in effect, the source added. Last week, FAS deputy head Vitaly Korolyov confirmed that tariffs in Ulyanovsk Region would probably be revised. He also warned regions against hiring third-party expert organizations like the Pricing Control and Monitoring Center when setting tariffs.
FAS also revealed that during the consideration of tariff disputes last year, it excluded from tariffs nearly 1 billion rubles in unjustified expenses. The agency presided over 79 heat supply sector cases, 70 water supply sector cases and 42 electric power supply sector cases.
FAS shared its views on the prospects of digitization of the power grid. Mr Korolyov said antitrust authorities expect that, in the event of digitization, utility companies (primarily Rosseti) will raise tariffs within the 3% inflationary spiral. The standard principle for setting network tariffs is set to be introduced in
For the umpteenth time Technopromexport (TPE), a subsidiary of Rostech, is reportedly finalising the commissioning of power generating units at two major thermal power plants in Crimea. The main culprits for the delay are regional contractors, which means they will probably escape any penalties for the delay. The first units of the Balaklavskaya and Tavricheskaya thermal power plants were officially cleared to enter the market on 1 February (initially scheduled to be commissioned on 1 September). On 5 March Rostech announced that the second phases (scheduled to be commissioned on 1 October and 1 November 2018, respectively) had successfully passed comprehensive tests and would be put into service shortly.
Soon after the tests, the Energy Ministry said the actual operation of the new power plants in Crimea had turned the peninsula into an energy-surplus region, which meant the problem-plagued project had virtually been completed.
The State Duma last week took up a bill which has caused “energy envy” in a number of depressed regions. The Lower House has virtually cut off the list of federal districts where power is supplied based on regulated contracts instead of market forces. Legislators have drawn up a list of nine regions where regulated contracts will be used, and have slammed attempts by fellow lawmakers to add new regions to the list.