Speaking at a hydroelectric power conference, Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Vladimir Pekhtin said the investment fund would have about US$2.5M, and that a significant portion of these funds could be spent on hydro power.

The deputy speaker said that old generating plants meant that stable electricity supplies were under threat, especially given rising consumption, and a ‘well-grounded concept for the development of hydro power for many years to come’ was essential.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Russian energy monopoly Unified Energy Systems (UES) said that energy sector reform issues have been resolved, and no ambiguities remain.

Anatoly Chubais, speaking at the same conference, said things were moving slower than expected in the energy sector’s reform, but were going exactly to plan strategically.

Hydro power is set to benefit from the reforms more than any other energy sector, he said.

At a UES board meeting in September, the structure of the unified Federal Hydro Generating Company (GidroOGK) will be discussed, Chubais said, adding that in 2005 it will receive US$100M in additional income.