Current government will not decide Elektrilevi separation

Elektrilevi. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Minister of Finance Annely Akkermann (both Reform) said that the current cabinet will not decide on whether to separate DSO Elektrilevi from state-owned power company Eesti Energia. Isamaa's Urmas Reinsalu is against the move.

Kaja Kallas said during the government press conference on Thursday that the previous government held it necessary to separate distribution system operator Elektrilevi from Eesti Energia. The PM remarked that while the current cabinet has been given an overview of different ways to achieve that, the decision will have to be taken by the next government after the March elections.

Akkermann added that the separation of the companies needs to be prepared by Eesti Energia.

Isamaa's representative in the coalition [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Urmas Reinsalu said that the analysis revealed that the separation could hike transmission fees and slower reaction times in case of supply security issues.

Reinsalu added that it is likely different government will have different interpretations of the analysis.

"It also pointed out that Eesti Energia would develop a serious problem servicing its loan obligations," Reinsalu said, adding that the analysis convinced him Elektrilevi should not be separated.

Kaja Kallas said that while a temporary transmission fee hike would follow, costs would come down eventually, with Akkermann adding that Elektrilevi should govern assets that do not depend on the power company. "Right now, the DSO's assets are part of the major Eesti Energia group. Another core goal is to eliminate the possibility of conflicts of interest."

She added that while there is no information to suggest Eesti Energia has manipulated costs or misused its position, relevant risks remain as long as Elektrilevi is in its portfolio.

The finance minister remarked that the government must aim for market transparency and equal treatment of electricity producers. She also believes that the separation of the DSO would help network development by making it easier to connect micro producers to the grid.


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Marchs Turovski

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