Russian energy holding company InterRAO reportedly plans to invest $580m (RUR45bn) in a gas turbine joint venture with General Electric.

Reuters reported that the investment comes at a time when Western gas turbine manufacturers are investing in the country, as it plans to upgrade a quarter of its thermal power capacity.

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Currently, Russia is not involved in the production of medium or large capacity gas-fired power turbines. However, the Russian government wants such turbines to be produced locally.

The move provides new opportunities for Western turbine manufacturers, as the demand for such turbines has decreased in the global markets recently.

According to InterRAO strategy head Alexey Maslov, the investment in the joint venture will pave the way for launching production lines in the country. InterRAO will hold a 51% stake in the joint venture project.

The joint venture has set a target to manufacture gas turbines with 79MW-87MW and 181MW-210MW capacity by 2025-2026. It also aims to produce at least 90% of these locally.

Maslov added that the demand for such turbines is expected to increase after 2030. InterRAO hopes to sell 20-25 of these turbines.

In addition to GE, Siemens and Italy-based firm Ansaldo are reportedly developing joint projects with other Russian firms to produce gas turbines in the country with high power capacity.

In December 2018, GE completed 9EMax gas turbine upgrade at the Sokolovska Uhelna power plant in Vresova, Czech Republic.