Russia officials lay cornerstone of 65-MW Kashkhatau

Russian utility and government officials helped lay the �cornerstone� — the first cubic meter of concrete — of the foundation for the 65-MW Kashkhatau hydroelectric project April 19 in Russia’s Kabardino-Balkaria Republic.

The first water was diverted from the Cerek River for Kashkhatau in March 2006. The power plant is to be commissioned in 2008.

Kashkhatau is the upper stage of the Cerek River cascade. The 120-MW Aushigerskaya project was commissioned as the first plant in the cascade in 2002. Kabardino-Balkaria is located on southeastern Russia between the Black and Caspian seas.

Russian utility monopoly Unified Energy Systems and its hydropower subsidiary, HydroOGK, included completion of Kashkhatau as one priority of their 330 billion ruble (US$12.36 billion) hydroelectric investment plan through 2009. (HNN 8/9/06)

Financing for the project is to include 2.5 billion rubles (US$97 million) in 2007 and 1.5 billion rubles (US$58.2 million) in 2008. HydroOGK said it organized Russia’s first power plant project financing arrangement for Kashkhatau, with funding from European and Asian investors.

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