* Yevgeny Dod appointed CEO of RusHydro
* Analysts say Dod has strong government links
* Joins from electricity trader Inter RAO
* RusHydro plans dam overhaul, additional share issue
* RusHydro shares rise 5 pct, outperform market
By Robin Paxton
MOSCOW, Nov 23 State-run hydro power group
RusHydro (HYDR.MM) on Monday named a close ally of Russia's
energy tsar to overhaul ageing infrastructure and lead a share
issue to help fund $1 billion-plus in repairs to a Siberian dam.
The appointment of Yevgeny Dod, who ran electricity trader
Inter RAO (IRAO.MM) for nearly a decade, signals a reshuffle
within the Russian power sector that analysts say tightens the
grip of powerful Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin.
Dod, 36, will run the world's second-largest hydroelectric
power producer as it prepares to raise up to 19 billion roubles
($659 million) in an additional share issue next year. He worked
with Sechin at Inter RAO, where Sechin is chairman of the board.
"Dod is a young and dynamic manager with plenty of
experience in the energy sector, and he comes with the support
of the government," said Alexander Kotikov, senior utilities
analyst at Troika Dialog.
RusHydro, the world's second-largest hydro power generator
after Hydro Quebec, has drawn government scorn since an accident
killed 75 workers in August at the Sayano-Shushenskaya dam, the
single biggest hydroelectric power station in Russia.
The disaster, which occurred when a turbine room flooded,
prompted Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to call for a sweeping
overhaul of Russia's creaking infrastructure, little of which
has been upgraded since Soviet times.
Sechin, Putin's powerful deputy and Russia's foremost energy
official, accused current and former managers at the dam of
using "fraudulent schemes" to win work contracts. [ID:nLH17306]
Dod had been chief executive of Inter RAO since 2000.
"If he is appointed, he would not have been recommended for
this position without the agreement of Igor Ivanovich," Kotikov
said, referring to Sechin by name and patronymic.
Dod replaces Vasily Zubakin, who had been acting RusHydro
chief executive since the departure last year of Vyacheslav
Sinyugin, now deputy energy minister. Zubakin will stay at
RusHydro as a management board member.
Dod's will be succeeded at Inter RAO by Boris Kovalchuk, who
worked as an assistant to Dmitry Medvedev before the current
Russian president took office, Kommersant business daily
Kovalchuk is an existing board member at Inter RAO and son
of banking magnate Yuri Kovalchuk.
RusHydro shares rose 5.3 percent by 1432 GMT, outperforming
a 1.7 percent rise on the MICEX index .
While most analysts said Dod's appointment would be viewed
positively by investors, they said sweeping changes in the
firm's strategy were unlikely.
"The main signals for the market are the pricing of the new
19 billion rouble share issue and the strategy for financing the
reconstruction of Sayano-Shushenskaya," UniCredit Securities
equity analyst Dmytro Konovalov wrote in a research note.
Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Nov. 18 that the
state would not participate in the RusHydro share issue, though
it would retain control of the company after the transaction.
Repairs to Sayano-Shushenskaya have been estimated in the
region of 40 billion roubles ($1.39 billion), though Shmatko has
said they could cost less than this. [ID:nLI102944]
RusHydro is also undertaking new projects to expand Russia's
hydroelectric power capacity. These include construction of a
major new dam, Boguchany, in partnership with aluminium giant UC
RUSAL. Shmatko said this project would cost 34 billion roubles.
(Additional reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova; Editing by David
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