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RusHydro, Chinese firm to invest $4-5 billion in hydro plants

July 03, 2014, 11:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, July 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Top Russian hydropower company RusHydro and Chinese corporation PowerChina plan to invest $3.5-5 billion in the construction of small hydropower plants in Russia, business daily Vedomosti reported Thursday, quoting an agreement signed by the firms in May.

The companies are now in talks to set up a joint fund, a source close to one of the firms said. RusHydro may contribute money and design decisions to the joint venture, while PowerChina will probably provide investment. The companies plan to finance 70-80% of joint projects with money from Chinese banks, the source said.

The firms can take part in Russia’s tenders for renewable energy projects that get market support. At such tenders, the power regulator chooses projects with the lowest costs, and winners receive capacity supply agreements that guarantee investment return in 15 years with an annual margin of 14%.

By 2020, the two companies may build 35 hydropower plants with a capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) in Russia, according to the agreement. The bulk of the facilities could be built in southern Russia, mainly in the republics of Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, and Adygeya, as well as in the Krasnodar and Stavropol regions. There are also projects in the republics of Altai and Karelia and in the Omsk and Murmansk regions, Vedomosti said.

The firms also discuss localization of production of Chinese equipment for small hydropower plants in Russia, which is one of conditions for participation in the renewable energy tenders, the daily said.

PowerChina could become the second Chinese company to enter the Russian renewable energy market. In June, Solar Systems, a unit of China’s Amur Sirius, won a tender to build 175 MW of solar power facilities in Russia in 2015-2018.

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