Russian energy group InterRAO to invest $580 million in GE gas turbine JV

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state energy holding InterRAO IRAO.MM plans to invest up to 45 billion roubles ($580 million) in its gas turbines joint venture with General Electric GE.N, Alexey Maslov, its head of strategy, said on Wednesday.

Russia’s power market has become attractive for Western producers of gas turbines as the country has started to modernise a quarter of its thermal power capacity.

Russia does not produce its own medium or large capacity gas-fired power turbines and Moscow wants this type of power equipment produced locally.

This has created a rare opportunity for Western producers of turbines as global demand has been weak in the past few years. InterRAO plans to invest between 40 billion and 45 billion roubles to launch production of the gas turbines as part of the joint venture with U.S. group GE, Maslov said. InterRAO has a 51% stake in the project.

By 2025-2026, their joint venture will be producing gas turbines with the capacity of 79-87 megawatts and 181-210 megawatts with at least 90% of these produced locally.

InterRAO hopes to sell 20-25 of these turbines by 2030, Maslov said, adding that demand was likely to rise further after 2030.

“We believe in this market,” he said.

Apart from GE, Germany's Siemens SIEGn.DE and Italy's Ansaldo have joint projects with Russian investors aimed at local production of gas turbines of high power.

($1 = 77.6217 roubles)

Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova; writing by Anastasia Lyrchikova and Polina Devitt; editing by Jane Merriman