Russia's top energy man Sechin may join Inter RAO

MOSCOW Fri Oct 3, 2008 5:22am EDT

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MOSCOW Oct 3 (Reuters) - Russia's powerful first deputy premier, Igor Sechin, has been nominated to the board of electricity trader Inter RAO (IRAO.MM), the company said in a statement on Friday.

Sechin, Russia's top energy official and ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is also the chairman of Russia's largest oil firm, state-controlled Rosneft (ROSN.MM). His candidacy at Inter RAO must be approved at a shareholders meeting on Oct. 23.

Created after the recent privatisation of Russia's power sector, Inter RAO has been deemed a strategic asset and remains under indirect state control.

The company, whose primary revenues are from the import and export of electricity, has a power generating capacity of 8,000 megawatts at stations in the former Soviet Union, and trades electricity in Finland and Turkey.

It has plans to increase that capacity to 30,000 megawatts by 2015.

As part of a Turkish-Russian consortium, Inter RAO was the sole bidder in a tender to build and operate Turkey's first nuclear power plant last week, marking a major advance in the goal of expanding its network of power assets towards Europe.

Last month it signed a stategic partnership with EDF (EDF.PA), with the French group considering buying a minor stake in the Russian partner. (Reporting by Olga Popova, writing by Simon Shuster)

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