Fourth unit to increase Far Eastern powerhouse's capacity 1.5-fold

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MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian electricity monopoly Unified Energy Systems said in a press release Thursday that the generating capacity of the Bureia hydroelectric power plant in Russia's Far East will grow 1.5-fold after the launch of its fourth unit at the beginning of November.

The first two generating units, with a total capacity of 370 megawatts, were launched in 2003, and the third, 300-megawatt generator began operations in November 2004. They ensured continuous electricity supplies across the region and helped stabilize domestic prices.

The fourth unit is expected to bring the plant's capacity to 1,000 megawatts. In 2008, when all the six planned generators are in place, the plant's capacity will reach 2,000 megawatts and its total average output will top 7.1 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, or one-fifth of the overall amount produced in the entire Russian Far East.

Launched in 1985, but suspended due to underfunding, the Bureia project became one of UES' top priorities in 1999. The company invested some $819.36 million in it between 2000 and 2004, adding another $204.4 million this year.

The plant's extra capacity could be used for exports to China, which, according to CEO Anatoli Chubais, is one of the company's biggest ambitions.

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