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RusHydro to Boost Spending 62% This Year on Safety

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March 9 (Bloomberg) -- OAO RusHydro, Russia’s biggest hydropower company, plans to raise spending 62 percent to 97.1 billion rubles ($3.3 billion) this year to improve safety and efficiency after a disaster at its largest plant killed 75.

RusHydro will invest 37.4 billion rubles of the total on the Boguchansk hydropower plant and aluminum smelter, a complex it is building in partnership with United Co. Rusal, the Moscow-based company said today in an e-mailed statement.

An additional 15.4 billion rubles will go to building the Zagorskaya pumped-storage hydro station in the Moscow region. Spending on operating stations will total 12.2 billion rubles.

The state-run utility’s focus on safety comes after the fatal accident last August at the Sayano-Shushenskaya station, Russia’s biggest, which also destroyed most of its ten turbines. The company has allotted 16.1 billion rubles for restoring the plant this year and expects to bring 2,560 megawatts of capacity at the station online this year.

Spending on renewable energy projects will rise 28 percent to 973 million rubles this year, or about 1 percent of the total budget.

RusHydro said in October that its board cut 2009 spending to 60.1 billion rubles from a planned 64.9 billion.

To contact the reporters on this story: Yuriy Humber in Moscow at yhumber@bloomberg.net; Patrick Henry at phenry8@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net.

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