The version that the authorities of the Leningrad Region, with the alleged participation of Rosseti, can squeeze out the competitor Lenenergo from the market, is not without foundation. The events in St. Petersburg are strongly reminiscent of the attacks on the Tambov and Kirov competitors of Rosseti, who are said to be trying to monopolize the regional energy markets. Interestingly, the head of Rosseti Andrey Ryumin previously headed Lenenergo.
In October, AO LOESK – Electric Grids of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region won a litigation with the Regional Finance Committee for 2.3 billion rubles. The company did not receive this amount after in 2019 the Tariff and Pricing Policy Committee of the Leningrad Region (LenRTK) reduced the NVV (required gross revenue) for LOESK by several billion. Forensic examination showed that the tariffs for the company were applied below the economically justified ones. But this story did not end with the judicial victory of the power engineers.
As far as one can understand, at the end of November, LenRTK again set the company’s extremely low level of NRR: LOESK requested 11.9 billion rubles from the committee, but received only 4.85 billion rubles. The situation of 2021 was repeated, when LenTRK approved only 1.86 billion rubles for the company. instead of the expected 8.4 billion rubles.
LOESK is the second power grid company of the Leningrad region. The first, of course, is Lenenergo, a subsidiary of PJSC Rosseti. LOESK serves more than a million consumers of electricity and is a direct competitor of the St. Petersburg division of Rosseti. Despite the problems of recent years, good money is spinning in the company. In 2021, its revenue amounted to 8.7 billion rubles, and net profit – 1.5 billion rubles. Sweet piece? Apparently yes.
Is it possible to assume that the region is pursuing a targeted policy towards LOESK, significantly reducing its financial performance and driving it into debt? Perhaps this version is not without foundation, especially since experts from the Community of Energy Consumers agree with it, stating that “the situation that has developed around LOESK may be related to the trend towards consolidation of the electricity grid market in the regions.” Others also believe that Rosseti does not need competitors. But this means that everything that happens in the Leningrad region may be the result of certain decisions behind which stands at least the head of Rosseti Andrey Ryumin. Why at least? Yes, because alone he obviously will not pull such a heavy (although already becoming banal) “operation”.
Meanwhile, as a result of the reduction of NHV in 2023, LOESK may receive 5.5 times less money in 2023 than Lenenergo (4.85 billion rubles against 26.55 billion rubles), while the serviced capacities the two companies only differ by a factor of two. The edition “Business Petersburg” writes that this is reminiscent of the “squeezing out” of the LOESK company from the market.
There is nothing new under the sun
Petersburg events again cause deja vu. Most recently, we wrote about how the Regional Tariff Service in the Kirov Region reduced the tariff for the Kommunenergo company, which is also a direct competitor of the local subsidiary of Rosseti, Kirovenergo. According to local media, Kommunenergo lost 135 million rubles. and was forced to lay off more than half of the staff.
The situations in the Kirov and Leningrad regions are like two drops of water. The only difference is that there’s a lot more money at stake in the Northwest.
In turn, what happened in Kirov strongly resembles the events in Tambov, Kursk, Kaliningrad … The media expressed a well-founded opinion that behind the actions of Rosseti there may be a desire of the federal monster to get a business that brings a stable income with minimal effort. In the regions, it is assumed that Rosseti is depriving smaller chain operators of their livelihoods so that they surrender to the mercy of the winner.
By the way, there is one piquant circumstance in the St. Petersburg energy “case” related to the “squeezing” of LOESK from the market. The head of Rosseti Andrey Ryumin became the CEO of PJSC in February 2021. Prior to that, he headed … a subsidiary of Rosseti in St. Petersburg. Leapfrog with tariffs for LOESK intensified in 2019 – just at that time, Ryumin was the general director of Lenenergo. It is clear that the projection of this fact on the events described provokes the appearance of versions of a well-defined property.