Russia eyes more nuclear power projects in Asia: FM
Asian nations are keen on striking nuclear power deals with Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday, as world powers race to secure projects in the energy-hungry region.
"Our partners expressed particular interest in nuclear energy, noting Russia's vast experience in this sphere," Lavrov said in Hanoi, where President Dmitry Medvedev attended a regional summit.
During Medvedev's visit to Vietnam, Russia will also sign a multi-billion-euro deal on Sunday to build Vietnam's first nuclear power plant.
An official with Russian state nuclear conglomerate Rosatom told AFP the construction of the two-unit plant is estimated at over 4.0 billion euros (5.5 billion dollars).
Russia is locked in a global race with competitors like the United States, Japan and France to clinch lucrative worldwide contracts as demand for nuclear energy increases.
Vietnam has approved the construction of the country's first nuclear power stations, and its initial plans call for four reactors with a total capacity of 4,000 megawatts, at least one of which should be operational from 2020.
Lavrov added that Russia and its ASEAN partners were interested in pursuing joint projects in geothermal energy in the region.
"The prospects are quite good," he said, adding the potential projects would be the focus of the countries' action plan through 2015.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretary general Surin Pitsuwan told reporters at the 10-member bloc's summit in Hanoi that leaders agreed on the need for clean energy projects in the region.
"Without energy we could not drive our economy, but at the same time using traditional energy may impact upon our global environment," he said, adding that member countries are working on "green energy, clean energy, new, alternative energy that would not have any impact on the environment".
© 2010 AFP