Inter RAO Inks Serbia Power Deal

Electricity trader Inter RAO and Serbian power monopoly EPS on Monday signed a wide-ranging strategic partnership deal that could see the two companies build power plants together and also join forces abroad.

It is the second energy pact between Belgrade and Moscow in 2008, after a deal that included Serbia in the South Stream gas pipeline and gave Gazprom a stake in Serbian oil firm NIS.

EPS has until mid-May to inform Inter RAO of projects foreseen by its expansion strategy, and Inter RAO must decide on its participation by July.

Inter RAO will have first pick as the Serbs may not look for other partners throughout that time.

"This is the first step in our cooperation with EPS," Inter RAO general manager Yevgeny Dod said after signing the deal.

"I hope that in three months we will be able to present joint projects. Once the projects are defined we expect the two governments to negotiate the details."