Mon, Nov 01, 2010 - Page 10 News List

Russia and Vietnam sign nuclear power plant deal

AFP, HANOI

Russia and Vietnam yesterday signed a deal worth an estimated US$5.6 billion for the Asian country’s first nuclear power plant.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev witnessed the signing, part of an effort to boost bilateral ties.

“This is a very important project,” he told reporters after the ceremony.

An official with Russian state nuclear conglomerate Rosatom said the construction cost of a two-reactor plant is estimated at more than 4 billion euros (US$5.57 billion). Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko, also in Hanoi, declined to confirm the figure.

“The fact that we are the first to start gives us a good competitive advantage,” Kiriyenko said, adding Russia will be keen to win more deals at a later stage. “The capacity that we have agreed upon today is two reactors.”

Vietnam wants to build eight nuclear facilities in the next two decades. Initial government plans call for four reactors, with a total capacity of 4,000 megawatts and at least one of them operational in 10 years’ time.

Fast-growing Vietnam faces energy shortages, and foreign businesses have expressed concern about a lack of energy and other infrastructure.

Moscow is willing to provide a loan to help finance the Russian plant’s construction, Medvedev’s top foreign policy aide Sergei Prikhodko said at the Kremlin in comments released on Friday.

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