Bloomberg News

Unified Energy Apologizes for Africa Expansion `Joke'

April 01, 2008

OAO Unified Energy System, Russia's holding company for power producers, and its OAO RusHydro (HYDR) unit apologized for announcing plans to build a geothermal plant in Africa, saying it was a ``joke.''

``It's an April Fool's joke, we were just carrying on a Unified Energy tradition,'' RusHydro spokeswoman Yelena Vishnyakova said by phone today from Moscow, where both companies are based.

Unified Energy and RusHydro, which is preparing for a London listing, sent a joint e-mailed statement today saying they had won a 500-million-euro ($783 million) tender to build Africa's first geothermal power plant. The two companies are developing geothermal and other renewable resources in Russia to reduce the use of coal and natural gas in electricity production, Unified Chief Executive Officer Anatoly Chubais said Jan. 30.

``Thank you to all who got the joke, and we apologize to the rest,'' Unified Energy said in an e-mailed statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yuriy Humber in Moscow at; Greg Walters in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at

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