Kamchatka authorities have warned that the far eastern region of Russia faces an imminent blackout after fuel supplies to the local power station were cut as a result of unpaid debts. The Kamchatka regional authorities have appealed to the central government to intervene and have lobbied for financial aid.

Kamchatskenergo, a subsidiary of Russia’s Unified Energy Systems (UES), had only eight days supply in stock, at the time of writing. The company’s sole supplier is the state-owned oil company Rosneft. The company has refused to send July’s fuel shipment while it is owed $323 million.

Towards the end of last year Kamchatskenergo and Rosneft signed an agreement to restructure the utility’s debt over two years. However Rosneft said it received payments for only the first three months of this year. In April the utility stopped payments.

Kamchatskenergo has its own problems with non-payment. It has cut off 300 companies that owe it more than $11 million. In January it cut power to a control centre for the country’s space forces, eliciting a sharp response from the military and the Kremlin.

Kamchatka lacks developed indigenous fuel resources, though gas deposits have been identified. Its ageing power plants all operate on oil, which can be imported easily.