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#19 - JRL 7243
Russian power grid chief predicts tough heating season for housing services

Cholpon-Ata, 27 June: The problem of providing such problematic [Russian] regions as the Far East and Arkhangelsk with energy was solved in Russia this year. Currently fuel stocks there are 100 per cent full, Anatoliy Chubays, the chairman of the CIS Electric Energy Council and the head of Russia's Unified Energy System joint stock company, told a session of the council in the Kyrgyz town of Cholpon-Ata [at Lake Issyk-Kul] today.

Nevertheless, he said, the forthcoming heating season "will apparently be more difficult than the previous one" for the housing and municipal services, as "the total number of people cut off from heat at a different time for different periods has exceeded 400,000". The Unified Energy System joint stock company, however, cut off the electricity to consumers only for their unpaid energy bills.

Anatoliy Chubays said such a tough policy towards nonpayers, including some state agencies, has produced its first positive results. Electricity revenue received from consumers has increased by 100-150 per cent. Now power engineers have found resources which can be invested in developing the energy sector. For example, the first [power engineering] unit of the Bureysk hydroelectric power station [Far East] will be put into commission soon.

The head of the Unified Energy System joint stock company also said reform in the Russia's energy sector would be continued, and the country would rely on some neighbouring CIS countries' experience in carrying it out.

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