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Russia ready for nuclear energy partnership with Cuba — official

Russia and Cuba have a framework intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in using nuclear power for peaceful purposes

MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. Russia is ready to become the strategic partner of Cuba in nuclear power generation if the country’s authorities review their stance regarding the construction of nuclear power plants, First Deputy Head of the Russian Government Office Sergei Prikhodko told reporters.

"As our Cuban colleagues had informed us, they have no plans of creating nuclear power generation industry in the country. If this decision is reviewed, then, naturally, Russia will be ready to become Cuba’s strategic partner in this direction," he said.

In general, Russia and Cuba have a framework intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in using nuclear power for peaceful purposes. This agreement gives the sides the chance to discuss all matters of mutual concern.

"At present, we are discussing a wide range of so-called non-energy use of peaceful atom. More specifically, we are discussing the use of nuclear technologies in medicine and agriculture," Prikhodko said.


Thermal power

According to the Russian governmental official, about 600-700 million euro of borrowed capital may be invested into the project of major overhaul of ten power generation units at three thermal power plants in Cuba.

"In order to implement this project, we plan to attract borrowed capital," the official said. "Preliminary investment into the project is estimated at 600-700 million euro."

Russia’s Inter RAO - Export and Cuba’s state electricity company Energoimport have earlier adopted a roadmap of a project to overhaul 10 100mw power-generation units at three Cuban thermal power plants. The contract is to be signed in March 2020.

Earlier, Inter RAO - Export Director General Maxim Sergeyev said that once the contract is signed, the company plans to overhaul two power generation units annually, starting from 2021.


Oil exports

The exports of Russian oil products to Cuba grew almost four-fold in the first half of 2019, Prikhodko said.

"As far as oil supplies to Cuba are concerned, exports multiplied by 3.7 times in the first half of 2019, year-on-year," he said.

The official said that Russia and Cuba traditionally cooperate closely in the energy sector. Among other things, the two states’ energy ministries signed a roadmap for efficient participation of Russian companies in the program to develop Cuba’s energy sector and increase the country’s energy security.

"The main goal of the program is to reduce the dependency of Cuba from the import of energy resources and increase the country’s energy security," Prikhodko said.

Besides, the Cuban side is interested in cooperation in developing natural deposits in Cuba.

"The work on these and other promising areas of cooperation in the energy sector would continue," the official said.