Monday, July 16, 2007

Transnistria begins electricity exports to Romania

Russian company Inter RAO UES has started exporting electricity from its power plant in Transnistria (officially Pridnestrovie). It is the first time in more than twenty years that the plant supplies Romania with electricity. The plant has capacity to supply more than ten times of the electricity that Transnistria uses.

DNESTROVSK (Tiraspol Times) - The MGRES Power Plant in Dnestrovsk, near Tiraspol, has begun to export electricity to Romania for the first time in twenty years, news agency Novosti reports. The agency quotes a source in Inter RAO UES, Russia's electricity import and export operator, which owns the Transnistria-based power plant, and confirms that electric power supplies to Romania have already begun.

Electricity is being supplied to Romania for the first time since 1986 from the MGRES electric power plant. Supplies began 15 July 2007, the source specified.

" - Recently, we signed a contract with Romania on the supply of 70-90 megawatts of electricity from the Moldovan electric power plant, and the contract stipulates a possibility to build up these supplies", the source said.

Personal links to Putin

Inter RAO UES, which is a subsidiary of Russia's electricity monopoly Unified Energy System (UES), is headed by Russian political veteran Anatoly Chubais. Current Russian president Vladimir Putin owes a large part of his career to Chubais who was the man who brought Putin from St Petersburg to Moscow and brought him to the attention of then-president Boris Yeltsin, who put him in charge of security and later appointed him prime minister.

According to Bucharest newspaper Cotidianul, Romania signed a one year contract which specifies that the country pays US$ 0.05 per exported kilowatt.

Under the agreement, the MGRES power plant will be supplying 70-90 megawatts of electricity to Romania, depending on the time of day. This is the initial contracted capacity, during the first stage, with the volume to grow in the future. It is expected that minimum annual exports will amount to 613.2m kilowatts per hour.

MGRES is the region's largest power plant and an economic powerhouse. It has an installed capacity of 2,500 megawatts. This is sufficient to supply the complete electricity needs of a country ten times the size of Transnistria.

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