Russia’s Inter RAO to suspend energy exports to Finland over non-payment


Russian state utility company Inter RAO will stop exporting electricity to Finland as of Saturday because it has not been paid, the company’s Finnish subsidiary said on Friday.

Inter RAO IRAO.MM has not received payments for electricity sold through the pan-European energy exchange Nord Pool since May 6, the subsidiary said, without giving any reason.

“This situation is extraordinary and occurred for the first time in more than twenty years of our trading history,” RAO Nordic said in a statement.

Energy imports will stop from 01.00 local time on Saturday (2200 GMT Friday) “for the time being,” Finnish network operator Fingrid said in a separate statement, citing RAO Nordic.

Fingrid added that there was no threat to Finnish supplies and that energy from Russia accounted for around 10% of Finland’s total consumption.

“Missing imports can be replaced on the electricity market by importing more electricity from Sweden and also through domestic production,” he said.

Fingrid prepared three weeks ago for the prospect of Russia cutting off electricity flows to Finland by restrict transmission capacity by a third.

Fingrid claimed that RAO Nordic had told him that it would stop imports because it was having trouble receiving payments from Nord Pool.

Nord Pool is the one who pays for them. Fingrid is not a party to this electricity trade. We provide the transfer connection from Russia to Finland,” Reima Paivinen, senior vice president of operations at Fingrid, told Reuters.

Stopped payments were also reported through Urgent Market Messages (UMMs) used by market participants to share information.

A Nord Pool spokesman said the company did not comment on the information reported in the UMMs.

When asked if payments were to be made in rubles, the spokesman told Reuters: “We have never had settlements in rubles, only in euros, Norwegian kroner, Swedish kronor and Danish kroner, according to our standard procedures.”

Speaking generally, the spokesperson stated that Nord Pool was “a secure counterparty for all its clients” and that it always settled trades.

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