Enel is to make a bid to take over Russian generator OGK-5 after increasing its ownership in the company to just over 37 per cent. The move will strengthen the Italian company’s position in Russia, where Enel was the first non-Russian player to be awarded generating assets in the ongoing privatisation process.

The purchase of 7.15 per cent of OGK’s share capital by Enel’s Dutch subsidiary, Enel Investment Holding B.V., brought Enel’s holding to over 30 per cent and obliges it under Russian law to launch a public tender offer for the entire share capital of OGK-5. Terms of the offer will be released at a later date.

OGK-5 owns four thermal power plants located in some of the most developed and fastest growing regions of the country, according to Enel. Its assets include 2400 MW of gas fired capacity in central Russia, 1290 MW of gas fired capacity in southern Russia, and 3800 MW of coal fired and 1182 MW of gas fired capacity in the Urals.

OGK-5 is one of six wholesale generation companies created as part of the privatization and liberalization of Russia’s power market. In the first half of 2007 it posted revenues of RBL13 748 million, an operating profit of RBL1370 million and a net income of RBL1200 million.

In Russia now Enel is a vertically integrated Group. In addition to the stake owned in OGK-5, Enel Group currently owns 40 per cent of the Severnaya Energia consortium (with Eni owning the remaining 60 per cent). The consortium acquired several promising assets in the gas fields (OAO Arcticgaz, Urengoil, OAO Neftegaztechnologia). Moreover Enel holds 49.5 per cent of RusEnergosByt, one of the country’s independent electricity supplier.