ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Dec 13, 2000 — The Russian government will make a final decision on gas supplies to the national power utility UES of Russia by the end of the year, a member of the UES administration board, Andrei Trapeznikov has said.

The UES has asked the government to authorize next year’s supplies at this year’s level of 134bln cubic meters. The national gas monopoly Gazprom insists supplies to the UES of Russia should go down to 95bln cubic meters.

Trapeznikov said the UES of Russia would like to have a clear gas supply breakdown by quarter.

“It would be unwise to drastically change the UES of Russia’s fuel consumption structure, because that would require heavy investments and worsen the ecological situation”, he warned.

At the same time the outgoing year has seen some changes to the fuel consumption structure already. In January through September the share of gas and oil fuel in electricity production reduced slightly, while that of coal increased by 9%. The national energy consumption has grown by 4%.

The UES of Russia argues that the share of gas in the company’s fuel consumption structure should be achieved not through a shift from gas to coal, but through the introduction of steam/gas units, which produce 30% more electricity of the same amount of gas.