MOSCOW, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Russian energy monopoly Gazprom said it plans to ask the Kremlin for more than $3.5 billion to help fund investments in electric utility firms in 2009.
Gazprom Deputy Chairman Valery Golubev said the majority of the funding would go toward upgrading infrastructure for at least two of its electric utilities, The Moscow Times said Monday.
Golubev said one of the primary targets would be the TGK-1 utility firm in northwest Russia. Gazprom earlier this month appointed a new board of directors at TGK-1 following the acquisition of a 28.6-percent stake in September.
At least four utility firms owned by Gazprom require billions in upgrades to complete projected programs for 2010, with major capital expected for next year.
"In 2009, the realization of these investment programs … requires of Gazprom around ($3.5 billion)," said Golubev. "A large portion of that is for TGK-1."
Gazprom said it plans to cut production by 3 percent for 2009, though the deputy chairman said the decline was due to declining demand because of rising temperatures in Russia.