Artur Dan: Autumn plays of energy complex chiefs and oligarchs

The war of prices launched by owners of fuel and energy complex draws rapt attention of the Legislative Assembly’s deputies of Irkutsk region. For the time being, the region administration does not make any noticeable steps. And it is not strange: oligarchs support Govorin at the election and in this way make him not hinder them to increase incomes. Everybody understands prices of electric power cannot be regarded now without taking into account prices of coal. According to Oleg Misevra, director general of ‘Vostsibugol’ stock company, one of the main arguments for increasing coal prices is that the company did not increase the prices for several years. It is not excluded, that new owners of fuel and energy complex decided to make coal prices in Irkutsk region equal to the middle coal price in Russia. They probably bought the whole company because there is a good reserve for increasing this price. Oleg Miserva does not want to make concessions. To him, coal must cost what it cost. He explains increasing prices for coal with the necessity to overcome the crisis and to change the equipment. Using the same equipment, they still increase volumes of coal output. Such brave guys! At the same time, Oleg Miserva expressed a nice idea, that difference between buying prices of coal for ‘Irkutskenergo’ company (approximately $ 7.00 for 1 ton) and for municipalities (approximately $ 10.00 for 1 ton) was reasonable. According to Miserva, 8 million ton of coal for ‘Irkutskenergo’ is a wholesale purchase, while 1,5 million ton for municipalities is supposed to be a retail. So, the price is higher. Apropos, after this price for Irkutskenergo company was fixed, the company suddenly decided to reduce coal purchase in its region and to buy coal in Krasnoyarsk. Regional authorities announced they would also buy coal in Krasnoyarsk region. As a result, the disbenefit made 50 percent of the market. In the long run this arrogance will very possible go, and the fuel and energy complex will be more attentive to its partners. Though today, to pay for coal, regional budget must find additionally 250 million rubles (about $ 8 000,000). The municipalities’ debts for heat and electric power makes 1,3 billion rubles, so when the coal prices are increased, the budget must be enlarged by 1, 5 billion rubles. And one more fact must be taken into account: the more the buying price of coal is, the higher heat’s prime cost is and therefore, the lower paying capacity of ‘Irkutskenergo’ is, because people will simply stop to pay. Though ‘Russian Aluminium’ company (RUSAL), ‘Siberian-Ural Aluminium Company’ (SUAL), ‘MDM Group’ could be understood. At least, their purpose is to think about their incomes. The situation is simple: pay and you will not freeze.

Strike at monopolies

‘MDM Group’, the only coal supplier in Irkutsk region, cannot be allowed to dictate its will. At least, the state must protect its citizens. September session of Legislative Assembly approved of Yuri Faleichik’s deputy inquiry directed to anti-monopolistic office, to tax service and to the tax police about suppression of coal suppliers’ abuses. The anti-monopolistic office is intending now to study the structure of coal’s primary cost and to clear up if ‘Vostsibugol’ activity comes under anti-monopolistic legislation. Oleg Miserva likes to repeat he does not play politics. Though during governor election campaign he openly supported Boris Govorin and actively “pushed” one of his people to major’s chair in the town Cheremkhovo. Once he said he was suspected of governor ambitions. He seems not to know that some of his predecessors also used to repeat they did not play politics. There is nothing new in this world.

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