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Russia: New Bushehr plants to cost $11 billion

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A picture shows the model of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant displayed during a ceremony. ©AFP

Energy Minister Alexander Novak says Russia’s construction of two more nuclear power units in Bushehr in southwest Iran will cost about $11 billion.

Novak made the remarks in Moscow following a two-day visit to Tehran with representatives of some 50 Russian companies in one of their biggest trade sojourns.

Speaking on state-run TV Rossiya-24, he said Iran and Russia were planning to implement joint projects worth between $35 billion and $40 billion.

Rosatom is set to build the new 1,000-megawatt power units in Bushehr under a deal signed with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in November 2014 in the biggest foreign project of the Russian state corporation.  

The Russians brought Iran's first nuclear power plant in the Persian Gulf coast into operation in 2011 in a project which cost the country $1 billion and took over three decades to complete.

Novak also said Russian gas giant Gazprom has offered to swap gas with Iran across the Caspian Sea, with similar oil deals also under consideration.

"We could supply gas through to Iran's north and receive gas from the south of Iran via swap deals in the form of liquefied natural gas or pipeline gas," Novak said.

"Similar swaps could be done with oil. This is a reduction of transportation costs. Our colleagues have given a positive response to the idea," he added.

From R to L: Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, his Iranian counterpart Hamid Chitchian and Iran’s Deputy Energy Minister Houshang Falahatian at a meeting in Tehran. ©IRNA

Iran has already a gas swap arrangement with Turkmenistan, receiving supplies from its northeastern neighbor for use in the country’s northern provinces and delivering the same volumes to the Central Asian nation in the Persian Gulf.

Novak said other joint projects with Iran include electrifying of railways worth around 4.5 billion euros and construction and modernization of steam power plants worth about $6 billion.

Russia’s state oil company Zarubezhneft alone is considering several projects worth around $6 billion in Iran. There are also projects related to supplies of industrial equipment, helicopters and Sukhoi SuperJet commercial aircraft, Novak added.  

In September, Russian agency Sputnik quoted Managing Director of Iran Aviation Industries Organization Manouchehr Manteghi as saying that Iran had signed contracts worth $21 billion to buy satellite equipment and aircraft from Russia.

The contracts involved satellite-related equipment as well as the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional passenger aircraft, Sputnik said.

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