June 19, 2013 / 7:12 AM / in 5 years

Gazprom closes in on deal over Enel's Belgium power plant-source

MOSCOW, June 19 (Reuters) - Russia’s Gazprom is set to sign a letter of intent to acquire a generating plant in Belgium from Italy’s Enel, a Gazprom source told Reuters on Wednesday.

The letter is to be signed this week during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russia’s answer to Davos forum.

Gazprom’s interest in the plant was revealed by Enel Chief Executive Fulvio Conti in March, when the deal was initially expected to be completed.

Interfax news agency said that Gazprom could pay 200 million euros ($268 million) to acquire the 405-megawatt plant.

A Gazprom spokesman declined to comment.

Gazprom has been trying to increase its presence in Europe’s power generation sector where it supplies a quarter of gas needs. But the Russian state-run company so far has failed to eke out major deals in the sector.

Last year, Gazprom and France’s EDF agreed to jointly build and acquire existing gas-fired power plants in Europe. Gazprom had also been in talks with France’s GDF Suez over the possibility of exploring energy projects, while an attempt to join forces with German’s RWE has failed.

$1 = 0.7467 euros Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Lidia Kelly and Jane Merriman

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