FAS to check coal prices for Vorkuta TPPs on Putin's instruction

FAS to check coal prices for Vorkuta TPPs on Putin's instruction
Vorkutaugol is Vorkuta TPP's only coal supplier

Earlier, the Russian President instructed law enforcement agencies to check the energy enterprise, asking to curb "cheating and negligence."

The President Vladimir Putin has instructed the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) to check validity of the prices for coal needed by Vorkuta TPPs Company (owned by Viktor Vekselberg's T Plus). The direction was published on the Kremlin’s website.

According to the document, the checks should be completed by April 1, 2017.

The President also instructed the Ministry of Energy, together with the Government of Komi, Gazprom PJSC and Plus T OJSC, to design a schedule chart to switch the Vorkuta Water-heating Boiler to natural gas by 2018-2019 heating season. Furthermore, the parties have to switch Vorkuta TPP-2 to gas by 2020.

We should also mention that this summer the Government recommended Vekselberg’s company to negotiate with Severstal to sign a long-term coal supply contract "at a price comparable to that of Severodvinsk TPP". T Plus specified that the two-year contract (until 2018) on coal supply to Vorkuta TPP with Severstal-controlled Vorkutaugol had already been signed. However, the coal price was 15% higher than that of Severodvinsk TPP, the company said, while the Severstal’s spokesperson assured those were market prices.

May we remind you that the issue of the Komi energy supply was raised in August, when the Komi Head Sergey Gaplikov at a meeting with Putin complained about the critical condition of Vorkuta TPP-2 being obviously not ready for winter. Besides, Gaplikov complained about T Plus being part of Vorkuta TPP that had plans to sell the asset. The Russian President instructed The Vice Premier Arkady Dvorkovich, The Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak and The FSB Head Aleksander Bortnikov to curb "cheating and negligence". Later, the General Prosecutor's Office held its inspections, followed by searches in Renova and its affiliate T Plus early in September.

The Investigative Committee explained that the searches had been conducted as part of a criminal case on multi-million-ruble bribes to the former Komi Government. After that, law enforcers detained and arrested Renova managing director Evgeny Olkhovik and T Plus CEO Boris Vainzikher. Also the VimpelCom former Head Mikhail Slobodin was arrested in absentia – he had run T Plus between 2003 and 2010.

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