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  Thursday, August 22, 2019
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Russian private power companies have applied to the Russian government
Russian private power companies have applied to the Russian government for $50 billion in loans, a business daily reported on Thursday.

According to Kommersant, the sum has been requested by the companies due to a sharp increase in the cost of construction. They say an alternative to government loans is to cut investment programs, which may disrupt the commissioning of new generating capacities in Russia and entail fines for the companies.

Several sources in the Council of Power Producers and Electric Power Sector Strategic Investors told Kommersant that the Council had forwarded a letter asking for the loans to Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who oversees the energy sector.

The letter says that generating companies "are the most of all vulnerable in the global financial crisis" as they are obliged to introduce new capacities in line with investment programs, but have no available funds for this.

A Kommersant source said that the power companies were asking the government to draft a special lending program and were prepared to repay loans at the level of the country's refinancing rate, currently 11% per annum. The letter mentions national development bank Vnesheconombank as a potential creditor, Kommersant said.

However, Russia's state-controlled RusHydro holding, which unites the country's hydropower generating plants, and the Federal Grid Company have said they will not be adding their names to the request for government loans.

Yevgeny Druzyaka, head of the RusHydro department for target communications, was quoted by Kommersant as saying that "the current financial situation is favorable for the company and no loans are required."

The Federal Grid Company said that the investment program financing was stable and "the issue of applying for state support will be discussed depending on the further development of the situation."


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