Instead of generating a projected net profit of $60 million in 2020, Ukraine’s state nuclear giant Energoatom sustained a net loss of $177 million, anti-graft watchdog StateWatch reported on March 11.
For Energoatom, which operates four nuclear power plants across the country and produces more than 50% of the country’s electricity, this has been the worst financial result of the past three years.
To compare, in 2018, the company made $176 million in net profit and in 2019 — $154 million.
Energoatom gave two reasons for its negative financial results in 2020: the company spent a lot on servicing foreign currency loans, while customers — including state company Guaranteed Buyer — generated enormous debts. “These factors do not depend on Energoatom,” the company’s statement reads. “Energoatom plans to make a profit in the first quarter of 2021.”
However, Oleh Polishchuk, former director of preventing corruption at Energoatom, believes that the real reason behind these extremely negative results is “incompetence of senior management.”
“Corruption and non-transparent appointments of the acting head and vice presidents are the roots of the problem,” Polishchuk told the Kyiv Post.
In a comment to the Kyiv Post, the press service of Energoatom dodged the question about its senior staff.
It’s not the first time that Energoatom has been accused of corruption. Acting head of Energoatom Petro Kotin was accused of corruption in October 2020. Olga Buslavets, then acting energy minister, initiated an investigation of Kotin after Energoatom hadn’t let detectives from the National Agency on Corruption Prevention inspect the company’s headquarters.
However, the investigation was suspended for an unknown reason.
In late December, Kotin said in his interview with news website Liga.net that “the company losses money only on paper” and that it has enough money to operate normally.
Ukrainian media and watchdog organizations repeatedly wrote about the company’s electricity auctions, where lots were allegedly sold below market price in favor of companies associated with the country’s two most influential oligarchs, Rinat Akhmetov and Ihor Kolomoisky.
Most of the electricity was sold to the company United Energy that’s associated with Kolomoisky and D. Trading, whose final beneficiary is Akhmetov, according to the Nashi Groshi investigative project.
On Nov. 13, during an auction, these companies received a 40% discount on the electricity price. Three months later, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) conducted searches at Energoatom amid an investigation on unreasonable electricity prices. Energoatom stated back then that the company is open for an investigation and “ready to cooperate with detectives in every possible way.”
The press service of Energoatom told the Kyiv Post on March 11 that the company “does not care about the names of companies that buy electricity.”
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