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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

GE, Marriott Win Grants

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has awarded 19 economic assistance grants worth a total of $6 million to finance feasibility studies for U.S.-Russian projects in areas ranging from real estate development to helicopter building.

A press release circulated by the agency Tuesday said that the U.S. government agency has agreed to provide part of the cost of the feasibility studies, while the companies that are going to carry them out will come up with the rest.

Among the 19 projects is a partnership between General Electric and the Kirov factory in St. Petersburg to produce gas turbines. The agency and General Electric are investing $600,000 each in the feasibility study. GE is also considering a partnership with a Russian factory to make helicopters with U.S. engines.

Marriott International is prepared to pay $1.5 million to investigate the feasibility of building a Marriott hotel in place of the Intourist in central Moscow. The agency is committing $435,000 to the study.

A $300,000 grant has been allotted to LUKoil, Russia's biggest independent oil company, which will study plans to build a major oil refinery in Krasnodar with ABB Lummus Crest.

The press release said that if the projects are implemented they may bring U.S. companies about $2 billion in export revenues.

The costly feasibility studies are necessary for the implementation of the projects since financial institutions require these studies to decide whether a project is creditworthy.

According to the press release, the agency has invested $34 million in 80 projects in former Soviet republics since 1992.