A generating company to group all Russian nuclear plants will be set up by reorganising nuclear utility Rosenergoatom at the end of March.

The charter of the new company has been submitted for approval by the Property Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry. The company will have the status of state unitary enterprise, but may be converted into a joint-stock company to attract investment. Russia’s 10 nuclear facilities will merge into one generating system, said Rosenergoatom head Yury Yakovlev. “By joining technological and financial resources the industry can focus on major areas of its development. The Russian unified generating company will rank among 4-5 major world companies of the kind. It will be more attractive for foreign investment as a rapidly developing structure.” The merger will enable nuclear plants to oppose growing electricity tariffs. The new body will remain under the jurisdiction of the Atomic Energy Ministry (Minatom).

Atomic energy minister Alexander Rumyantsev said it will have the status of a state unitary enterprise as nuclear power stations cannot be privatised.

Minatom has long been a bitter rival of power concern Unified Energy Systems (UES) over its monopoly on transmission. The creation of a large nuclear power company probably has as much to do with power politics as economic reform. In December, the Federal Court of Arbitration of the Moscow District backed UES in its confrontation with Rosenergoatom over electricity exports from nuclear power stations, revoking an earlier court ruling obliging UES to grant nuclear plants the right to export electricity.