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    RUSSIA INVESTS $250 MN TO BUILD TAJIK HYDROELECTRIC POWER PLANT

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    DUSHANBE, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will invest $250 million in the forthcoming construction of the Sangtuda hydroelectric power plant in Tajikistan, 50 million of this out of the Tajik debt to Russia, Alexei Kudrin, Russia's Finance Minister, said to the media.

    The arrangement will bring Russia a solid block of plant shares as soon as construction finishes. Other investors are welcome to join, he added.

    "If the plant is not built within four years, before December 31, 2008, or Tajikistan fails to transfer construction-oriented fifty million dollars out of its debt to Russia; or, again, if Russia does not obtain the expected stock, the fifty million will automatically rejoin the Tajik debt with four years' interest. We are sure things will not take that turn," he continued.

    Russia reckoned with an understanding for the upcoming construction agreement even this year, and so did not collect six million dollar interest on the Tajik debt, stressed Mr. Kudrin.

    As for the Rogun, another hydropower plant under construction in Tajikistan, Russia has never vouched to build it, neither has RAO Unified Systems of Russia, he said.

    The latter will come up as general contractor on the Sangtuda project to guarantee blueprinting, construction, commissioning on a turn-key arrangement, and subsequent maintenance, said Anatoly Chubais, RAO UES president. He is sure the company will cope on schedule. The Sangtuda is the company's biggest overseas construction project, and the company attaches tremendous importance to the venture.

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