Russia sees financial role for China in floating plant project

19 October 2005

Plans to begin construction of a floating nuclear power plant have been bolstered with the signing of a loan agreement with a Chinese bank.

The venture is expected to see Russian nuclear agency Rosenergoatom invest some $35 million in the project next year, but some $14 million of this investment may come from the Chinese national Eximbank if domestic financing is insufficient.

"We signed a contract with China on terms [for a potential loan if needed],” Alexander Polushkin, head of development at Rosenergoatom is quoted as saying in local media. If the Russian government budget funds the project, the loan agreement will be abandoned, if not, under the terms of the loan, Chinese shipyards would build the main power plant housing, which would then be transported to Russia to be outfitted with the reactors.

According to Polushkin, a contract has already been signed with Bohai shipyards of China, which is to be enacted after the Chinese Eximbank extends the loan. The final contract with the bank is yet to be concluded but building the station could begin in January 2006. Construction is expected to take five years at a total cost of some $210 million.

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