Inter RAO Completes Moldova Buy

Electricity trader Inter RAO said Wednesday that it had increased its stake in a 2.5-gigawatt Moldovan power plant to 100 percent by buying the remaining 49 percent of the plant for $163 million.

Inter RAO bought the stake from Hungary's Emfesz and will pay for it with borrowed capital, the state-controlled company said in the statement.

In the medium term, Inter RAO plans to seek strategic investors for the power plant, called the Moldavan GRES in the town of Dnestrovsk, among Europe's largest energy companies, the statement said.

Aside from having a near monopoly on electricity imports and exports in Russia, Inter RAO owns power stations with a combined generating capacity of almost 8 gigawatts, both in Russia and abroad.

It is expected to become one of the main blue chips representing the power sector after the liquidation this month of its parent company, former electricity monopoly Unified Energy System.