Russia, Japan, China firms in billion dollar fertiliser deal
Russian President Dmitry Mevedev on Saturday oversaw the signing of a one-billion-dollar deal with Japanese and Chinese firms for a fertilizer plant, despite diplomatic tension with Tokyo.
Russian government-affiliated Ammoni signed a contract with Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Sojitz Corporation and China National Chemical Corporation to build a plant producing ammonia and methanol.
Kremlin chief Medvedev is in Japan to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation nations' summit.
The deal comes amid surging demand for fertilizer due to rising food production in response to global population growth.
Rising demand has prompted Russia to work towards the replacement of ageing fertilizer plants that were constructed twenty to thirty years ago.
Saturday's deal will see the construction in Russia of "the first major fertiliser plant in the past 20 years," a Kremlin spokeswoman said.
The value of the contract is estimated at just over 1.0 billion dollars. The plant, to be located in the central Russian region of Tatarstan, is expected to come online in 2015, the Kremlin spokeswoman said.
The signing of the contract comes despite a bitter diplomatic row between Russia and Japan over disputed territory and ahead of Medvedev's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan later in the day.
© 2010 AFP