10 Mar 2010 19:10

Belarus hopes to sign NPP contract with Atomstroyexport before end of June

MINSK. March 10 (Interfax) - A general contract to build a 2.4 Megawatt nuclear power plant in Belarus could be signed before the end of June, said Valentin Tyshkevich, deputy head of Atomstroyexport's department for projects in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

"The general contract is to be signed by June 30. Atomstroyexport will be the general contractor and build two 1.2 Megawatt power generating units, and it will be entirely responsible for compliance with the timeframe and technical documentation," Tyshkevich said at the Atomexpo-Belarus 2010 exhibition in Minsk on Wednesday.

Mikhail Filimonov, director of the Belarusian Energy Ministry's nuclear power plant construction division, confirmed that the timeframe was quite feasible. A credit agreement will be concluded after the contract is signed, he said.

Belarus counts on a Russian loan to cover the construction of the nuclear power plant and of the infrastructure, he said. But he noted that if the loan is only provided for building the nuclear power plant, Belarus would cope with the remaining spending. "Belarus has decided to build the nuclear power plant and is aware of the funding needed for this construction project," Filimonov said.

Atomstroyexport is expected to involve subcontractors, he said. Not only the construction complex, but also other Belarusian industries will participate in the construction, he said.