AUDIO – Power industry can’t keep up with the Joneses

September 9, 2008

slobodin3.JPGMikhail Slobodin’s Integrated Energy Systems, Russia’s largest private electricity investor, works in a tough industry: Prices for gas are rising, prices for coal are rising more. Russia’s growing economy needs power, and IES has heavy obligations to build new stations at a time when construction costs are soaring and credit is tight. Government price regulation leaves little room for profit.

 And compared to the power industry with its tight finances, the IES chief executive said, his plant personnel can’t help but find the rich neighbours offer more appealing employment.

“Our stations are in big industrial areas. The metals industry is next door and pays its people a lot more. They have an EBITDA margin of 45-50 percent. Uralkali has an EBITDA margin of 75 percent. They can pay their people more. We are losing our own people. It’s really a problem when people on the other side of the fence get 20, 30, 40 percent more.”

You can listen to Slobodin’s remarks in Russian if you click on the link below.

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