Igor Sechin Eyes Ukrainian Hydroelectric Business

igor-sechin.jpgGraham Stack has a good one on Russia’s enthusiastic interest in the Ukrainian economy published on Business New Europe, which he likens to “a horde of shoppers at the spring sales.”  Buried down near the bottom of the piece, there is some interesting info on Igor Sechin’s aims to get into the country’s hydroelectric generation projects (though Ukrainians claim that this “help” is not needed), which may signal the coming transformation of Inter RAO.  Behold the enigma of siloviki competition and power politics….

Leaked documents published by the Ukrainian independent newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli detail Russian interest in particular in completing and operating the Dnestrovskaya hydroelectric power station. But work on the station has already received $166m in financing from the World Bank as a renewable energy project. “There is no need for Russian involvement there,” says Saprykin. “Ukraine can complete the work self-sufficiently.”

Analysts say the hydroelectric power idea is the personal pet project of the influential Deputy PM. “Sechin considers himself number 1 in terms of supervision of the entire energy sector,” says Taits “But in Ukraine at the moment, it is all about Rosatom and Gazprom – ie. Kiriyenko and Miller.”

Sechin is chairman of the board of Inter RAO – Russia’s electricityexport company, which under Sechin is mutating into something bigger,after remaining government stakes in power generation were transferredto the company in April. There have been rumours that a merger is on thecards between Inter RAO and RusHydro. Thus Sechin’s lobbying forRusHydro of easy projects in Ukraine could be a sweetener in the run-upto a merger.

Analysts also say Sechin’s interest in Ukraine’s hydroelectricpower sector aims at preventing cheap Ukrainian hydroelectricitycompeting with Inter RAO’s international export business to Belarus andMoldova. A bad deal for Ukraine through and through.