RusHydro, RosGeologiya and Transneft 'to rebase from Moscow to the Far East'.
Potentially, thousands of staff could be relocated seven time zones east to regions on the country's Pacific rim. Picture: Alexander Khitrov
The move east is a major project by the Russian government to boost the economy of eastern Siberia and the pacific region, and to show Russia as an emerging Asian economic force. The companies were named by Yuri Trutnev, the Russian president's envoy in the Far Eastern Federal District, and a vice prime minister.
Potentially, thousands of staff could be relocated seven time zones east to regions on the country's Pacific rim.
'We don't always put a question like 'get ready and move'. But in certain cases, like with RusHydro company, the question was about the move,' said Trutnev.
Transneft - the world's largest pipeline company - was always seen as a favourite, though the proposed moves may not prove popular with many staff who will be asked to uproot their lives and go east. We have been talking to Transneft company that is working on increasing the amount of oil going through the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean oil pipeline to 80 millions tons a year.
'We have also suggested RosGeologia company to think about making the move. We will have to build properties and administrative buildings for those moving, which is also good'.
A change of legal address means that companies' taxes will be paid to regional budgets, making a significant boost to the new region, reported vesti.ru.
'The shortlist had been drawn based on companies' ability and potential to develop significant investment projects'. Picture: The Siberian Times
Some experts have questioned the rationale, stressing that clients and partners as well as government bureaucrats will remain in Moscow.
'Moreover a number of members of staff might refuse to leave their flats in Moscow where everything is set up and organised and where their relatives live.'
Nikolay Tokarev, head of Transneft, was earlier quoted questioning the logic of a move.
Yelena Gorchakova, deputy chief of the Ministry of Eastern Development, said earlier the shortlist had been drawn based on companies' 'clear ability and potential to develop significant investment projects in the Far East of Russia and countries of the Asia-Pacific region'.
'We have looked through large companies with state stake in the capital, whose investment projects both planned and currently carried out on the territory of the Far East of Russia can give an impulse to the region's growth and development.'
The audacious plan is that the selected companies will move offices, staff and tax registration to the Far East.
'What is meant here is moving the headquarters of companies, moving the personnel and in the case of state-owned companies - shifting the tax base to the Far East,' Trutnev said earlier.
RusHydro owns 61 water power plants in Russia, along with two pumped storage plants, and three geothermal power stations in Kamchatka. The company is strongly represented in Irkutsk region. It is also preparing to launch the construction of four power plants in the Far East of Russia.
Rosneft is active in Sakhalin-1, and is strongly represented on projects in the Far Eastern Federal District.