MOSCOW, June 20 - RIA Novosti-Northwest. The Global Energy International Prize awards ceremony will be held at the Congress Palace (former Konstantinovsky Palace) in Strelna near St. Petersburg on Sunday.

Russian presidential aide Sergey Yastrzhembsky told reporters on Saturday that Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov would hand in the prizes.

"The prize is run under the auspices of the President, and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov will hand in the prizes on [the President's] instruction," Yastrzhembsky said.

According to the presidential aide, an energy forum under Prime Minister's presidency will take place prior to the awards ceremony. Many heads of world energy companies are invited to the forum, he said.

Yastrzhembsky emphasized that it took the prize just a year to become popular in the academic community and well known among its best world peers.

Nobel Prize Winner 2000 Zhores Alfyorov inspired the foundation of the Global Energy International Energy Prize in late 2002. The Prize is the first international annual award for outstanding energy discoveries and inventions.

The academician recalled that the prize had gained international reputation in the very first year of its existence.

"Last year we considered 27 nominated works, this year there were 60. I am sure that the prize's authority would rise further, and in the coming years there will be hundreds of applications," he said.

The Prize funded by top Russian energy companies OAO Gazprom, RAO UES, and Yukos is preferentially given to works that are important for the entire mankind.

The executive directorate of the prize told RIA Novosti that this year's winners were Russians Fyodor Mitenkov and Alexander Sheindlin and American Leonard J. Koch for their contribution to the energy industry of the future.

The ceremony will be attended by top Russian officials, best Russian and foreign academics (many of them are members of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee), heads of many domestic and international energy companies, and many artists and public figures.

Each winner will get a certificate, a medal, and a money prize established by the Board of Trustees. The total sum of the prize for 2004 is 900,000 U.S. Dollars. This sum will be equally divided among winners.

After the awards ceremony there will be a banquet and a theater performance on water (Strelna is surrounded by natural and artificial ponds - Ed.), directed by well-known St. Petersburg-based stage manager Viktor Kramer. Each guest invited to the ceremony will get a small replica of the winners' medal.

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