The Russian Zagorsk pumped storage station, 60km from Moscow, will be completed with the help of loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Cor-poration (IFC).

The station, owned by local utility Mosenergo, is said by the EBRD to be around 87% complete.

The loan — which comprises US$30M from EBRD and US$20M from IFC — will be used to complete the sixth turbine, increase capacity by 200MW to 1200MW, and to increase the size of the upper reservoir, effectively doubling its water holding capacity.

Mosenergo supplies power to four million domestic customers and industrial users in a 47km2 region around Moscow. Its 14,700MW generating capacity, produced from 18 power stations of various types, represents around 10% of the power used in the Russian Federation. It was converted into a joint stock company in 1993.

Although demand is stable in the Mosenergo region at present, it is expected to rise in the period 2000-2002.

The leader of EBRD’s Russia Team, Rienhard Schmoolz, said: ‘The market for long-term finance in Russia is still undeveloped, yet a utility such as Mosenergo requires access to long-term funds to implement its investment programme.

‘While this gap exists in the market, the EBRD will play a major role in supporting private investment in the Russian Federation,’ he added.