Russia and the world's top energy user China may jointly develop six floating nuclear power plants (NPPs), Russia's nuclear export body said on Tuesday, a further joint energy project since the signing of a $400 billion gas supply deal.
Rusatom Overseas, the export branch of state nuclear reactor monopoly Rosatom, said it signed a memorandum of understanding with China on the development of floating NPPs from 2019.
"Floating NPPs can provide a reliable power supply not only to remote settlements but also to large industrial facilities such as oil platforms," Rusatom Overseas Chief Executive Dzhomart Aliev said in a statement.
Hit by European and U.S. sanctions in response to the crisis in Ukraine, Russia is eager to diversify its economy away from the West. Following this new strategy, Russian state monopoly Gazprom signed a $400 billion deal with China in May after 10 years of negotiation.
Rosatom plans to launch the world's first floating NPP in 2018. This mobile, small capacity nuclear thermal power plant, best suited to remote regions, will be based in Chukhotka in Russia's far east.
(Reporting by Svetlana Burmistrova, editing by David Evans)