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Russia seeks energy foothold in Caribbean and Latin America
Published on July 19, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Caribbean News Now contributor

HAVANA, Cuba -- Russian energy companies, seeking to gain a foothold in the region, concluded a number of preliminary agreements with Cuban and other Latin American governments during President Vladimir Putin's recent tour of several countries in the hemisphere.

In Cuba, Russian state oil companies Rosneft -- the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer by volume -- and Zarubezhneft signed an agreement with Cuban state oil company CubanPetroleo to develop offshore block 37.

Another Russian hydroelectricity company, RusHydro, and Cuba’s Union Electrica also signed a memorandum of understanding.

Inter RAO -- one of the largest Russian public energy companies by market capitalization – will build power units at the Maximo Gomez and East Havana thermal power plants (TPP).

“The supply of Russian electric power equipment to Cuba is well underway," Putin said in an interview with Latin American and Russian news agencies.

Inter RAO will also help build the turnkey Chihuido-1 and Chihuido-2 hydropower plants in Argentina's Neuquen Province, Yury Ushakov, a Russian presidential aide, told reporters. The first plant will have capacity of 637 MW and cost $2 billion, and the second will have 296 MW.

Also in Argentina, following a state visit by Putin and a civil nuclear accord signed by him and Argentina's president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina's Atomic Energy Commission said that it would adopt pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology for its third reactor.

Sergey Kirienko, the head of Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom), met with Argentina’s federal planning minister Julio De Vido to finalize details of the agreement, according to a report from Argentinean nuclear agency CNEA.

De Vido said that Rosatom was one of five prequalified suppliers for the country's first light-water, enriched uranium pressurized water reactor.

During Putin’s state trip to neighbouring Brazil, Rosatom signed an agreement with engineering, construction and industrial firm Camargo Corrêa to build a spent fuel storage facility and nuclear power plant in Brazil.

Russian state media agency ITAR-TASS said that the document envisages an expansion of bilateral cooperation in nuclear power, in particular, the construction of engineering and technical facilities at Brazil's Angra nuclear power plant and partnership in the construction of new nuclear power units in Brazil.
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