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Russia to provide loans to Belarus for construction of nuclear power plant


Russia will provide loans to Belarus for the construction of its first-ever nuclear power plant, Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Surikov told reporters in Minsk on February 6.

The Belarusian and Russian governments plan to sign an agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, which will pave the way to “a specific agreement on the specific construction of a nuclear power plant,” according to the diplomat.

The Belarusian government has selected Russia's Atomstroiexport as the prime contractor for the construction of the nuclear power plant.

Mr. Surikov estimated that the cost of the project would not exceed $5 billion and said that Russia’s loans would be given to Belarus for the purpose “on as much favorable terms regarding interest and repayment period as possible.”

The construction of the nuclear power plant is expected to start at the end of 2009. The 2,000-MW plant is to be located in the Hrodna region near the Lithuanian border. It is expected to account for 27 to 30 percent of the total domestic electricity output. One of the two 1000-MW reactors is to be put into operation in 2016 and the other in 2018. //BelaPAN

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