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    MOSCOW, March 10, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The RAO UES (Unified Energy Systems) national power grid's board of directors is to hold its session Friday, March 12. This was disclosed to RIA Novosti here today at the corporate press center.

    Russia's First Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Andrei Sharonov was previously quoted as saying that the RAO UES board of directors intended to examine the machinery for selling power-generating companies at its session.

    The governmental commission for overhauling the national power industry held its session the other day, ordering the Property Ministry, as well as the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, to assess current options for auctioning off the above-said power-generating companies.

    The governmental commission for overhauling the national power industry discussed the possibility of selling their stocks in the course of a special money auction, as well as ways of applying this auction to pilot projects, i.e. each of the six power-generating companies, the country's Industry and Energy Minister Victor Khristenko noted.

    Special money auctions, due to sell off the stocks of power-generating companies, stipulate shares and monies as legal tender, Mr. Khristenko added.

    The order to specify current money-auction options over a ten-day period can be explained by the fact that some members of the afore-mentioned governmental commission for overhauling the national power industry had some questions, Mr. Khristenko went on to say.

    This mostly concerns financial risks for the state; that's why we have ordered the concerned ministries to assess specific options in line with this plan, Mr. Khristenko stressed.

    Among other things, money-auction plans should stipulate expert checks dealing with legal support for the sale of power-generating companies, Mr. Khristenko noted.

    Among other things, we must specify various legislative changes in the wake of these special money auctions, Mr. Khristenko said.

    The government of Russia ruled to establish ten power-generating companies in early September 2003. Four such companies are to be established on the basis of hydro-electric stations; and six others will be featuring thermal power plants. The Economic Development and Trade Ministry, as well as RAO UES shareholders, did their best to streamline the money-auction mechanism until now.

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