UES Chief calls for adjustments to electricity reform

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MOSCOW, June 20 (RIA Novosti) - Electricity reform needs to be adjusted, not put on hold, argues Anatoly Chubais, Chief Executive of Unified Energy Systems (UES), Russia's major electricity company.

"The reform does need adjustment, but contemplating the suspension of the reform is nonsensical," he said Monday at an investment conference, organized by Renaissance Capital.

He said that he could see a need for adjustments to the reforms underway within his own company as well as in the industry as a whole.

Specifically, Chubais pointed out the importance of reconsidering UES' interior and exterior policy priorities. Also, in his view, more efficient reform tactics should be worked out and more rigid criteria introduced for electricity transmission lines and for repairs organizations to become part of the Unified Energy Systems.

UES management plans to submit related proposals to the Cabinet soon, he said.

Chubais made it clear that he was sticking to his plans and assured that UES' reform would be carried out by mid-2007.

"The reorganization of UES, with a proportionate division of assets between the shareholders, will get underway in the middle of 2006, to be completed by mid-2007," he said.

Chubais explained that the overhaul of the electricity industry was aimed, among other things, at leaving distribution companies predominantly government-owned, while opening generation companies up to private ownership.

"Making [power] generation dominated by private ownership remains among our primary tasks," he said, adding that 50-60% of interest in generating companies was to be sold off to private owners.

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