Atomstroyexport in talks to build nuclear plant in Belarus

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti) - Atomstroyexport, Russia's nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly, has begun talks on building a nuclear power plant in Belarus, the company's first vice president said on Monday.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced in October that his country would build a nuclear plant to ensure energy security.

Speaking at an international nuclear conference, Alexander Glukhov said Russian and Belarusian experts are discussing a water-cooled reactor project, and that Atomstroyexport could also build new nuclear plants in other Eastern and Central European countries.

Glukhov gave a presentation on construction opportunities in a number of countries, including Vietnam, Indonesia and Morocco. "But Central and Eastern European countries, particularly the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Slovakia, are the most interesting markets," he said, also mentioning Ukraine and Belarus.

The Belarusian side earlier said the location could be selected in mid-2008 and that a tender would be announced the same year.

The official said his company is planning to double its order portfolio to $25 billion by 2030, primarily through new Asian and European projects.

"Atomstroyexport currently accounts for 20% of the global nuclear construction market, and we hope to increase the share by building new power units in China, India and Eastern and Central Europe," he said.

Russia is building 12 nuclear reactors, including five abroad. Glukhov said 130 new nuclear power plants could be put into operation by 2020 globally, with total investment up to $300 billion.

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