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19 Dec 2016

Belenergo, Russian Export Center ink $300m cooperation agreement

MINSK, 19 December (BelTA) – The Belarusian national electrical company Belenergo and the Russian Export Center signed an agreement on strategic cooperation in the joint implementation of power engineering projects in Minsk on 19 December, BelTA has learned. The preliminary volume of cooperation in projects that will use Russian equipment is estimated at up to $300 million.

The agreement was signed by Belenergo Deputy Director General Sergei Shebeko and Director General of the Russian export credit and investment insurance agency EXIAR Alexei Tyupanov. EXIAR is part of the Russian Export Center (REC) Group.

The cooperation agreement is purely a practical document. It is designed to advance interaction between Belarusian power engineering companies and Russian manufacturers of power engineering equipment to a brand new level with active support of the Russian Export Center. Thus, the Russian Export Center and its subdivision EXIAR (the Russian export credit and investment insurance agency) play a positive role in advancing manufacturing cooperation ties between Russian and Belarusian commercial entities in the Eurasian Economic Union.

Alexei Tyupanov stressed: “The Belarusian market is of strategic importance for us. Cooperation with Belarusian power engineering companies has its own merit. Belarus is busy modernizing its power engineering infrastructure, primarily power plants, for instance, the Minsk cogeneration plant and so on. In line with the agreement we have signed with colleagues from Belenergo they will inform us — the Russian Export Center Group — about plans to modernize the infrastructure. In turn, we will take care of two things. We will shortlist and possibly offer advice about what Russian companies can be invited as general contractors or vendors of specific equipment. The financial division of the REC Group — EXIAR and Eximbank of Russia — will provide long-term financing at a low cost for such projects. The idea is to use state funding from Russian banks against EXIAR guarantees in order to assist with the Belarusian power engineering industry modernization program.”

Speaking about the possible volume of planned deals, the EXIAR Director General explained that no special limits had been set. “For instance, we are now in negotiations on the project to reconstruct the Minsk cogeneration plant to the tune of about €100 million. After that everything will depend on how much colleagues from Belenergo need. As soon as they come up with projects, we will be ready to discuss them,” he remarked. Alexei Tyupanov added that the positive internal decision on Minsk cogeneration plant No. 3 had been made already. Financial offers as part of the project had been formed. “As far as I know negotiations with a Russian company that will act as a contractor within the framework of the project are nearing completion,” he said.

Sergei Shebeko noted that the Belarusian power engineering system has been going through massive modernization for the last ten years. “We invested over $5 billion in this period. Without financial support such modernization would be impossible,” he stressed. “This is why we always keep an eye on the financial system and choose the most effective loans — the cheapest ones. Respectively our planned cooperation with the Russian partner indicates that at present it is one of the most effective financial proposals.”

EXIAR Director General Alexei Tyupanov noted that the agency intends to provide some $8 billion worth of support for Russian exports in 2016. Cooperation with Belarus will get at least $1 billion. “EXIAR offers tied financing for Russian exports on terms, which are more preferential in comparison with the market. The option eliminates risks of Russian exporters and secures an inflow of investments into Belarus. Apart from trade we are talking about Russian-Belarusian projects in the real sector, including cooperation with small and medium private companies,” said the official.

Via its representative office in Belarus EXIAR maintains active partnerships with Belarusian banks and insurance companies and can bolster support for Belarusian-Russian export and import operations with its own financial resources and instruments. Apart from providing practical aid in implementing joint projects the EXIAR representative office in Belarus pays close attention to raising the awareness of the private sector about new financial and non-financial export support opportunities. EXIAR’s products and the best international practices allow effectively supporting and developing export-oriented projects.

The Belarusian national electrical company Belenergo and the Russian Export Center signed the strategic cooperation agreement during the solemn event held to highlight results and prospects of promoting export projects and investments by the Russian Export Center Group in Belarus. The event was held to discuss ways to expand cooperation in the organization of joint projects and the development of the export potential of Belarus and Russia. The forum was timed to an anniversary of the establishment of the EXIAR representative office in Belarus. The representative office in Belarus is the first foreign office of EXIAR.

The Belarusian national electrical company Belenergo is run by the Belarusian Energy Ministry. Belenergo is tasked with enabling reliable, safe, and economically effective operation and innovative development of production, transfer, distribution and sales of electricity and heat energy.

The Russian Export Center (REC) was established as the one-stop shop where exporters can get financial and non-financial support, including through cooperation with relevant ministries and government agencies in charge of developing Russia’s foreign trade. In early 2016 the Russian Export Center, the Russian export credit and investment insurance agency EXIAR, and Eximbank of Russia became part of the REC Group.

The Russian export credit and investment insurance agency EXIAR was established in 2011. The agency is tasked with supporting high-tech export by means of insuring credit and political risks in export loans and by insuring Russian investments abroad against political risks. As of 10 December 2015 the Russian Export Center is the only shareholder in EXIAR. EXIAR opened the representative office in Belarus on 25 September 2015.

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