Russian companies started geological exploration and work on thermal power plants in Syria, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the press service of the Russian Ministry of Energy.
According to the Ministry, Russian companies STG engineering, Zarubezhneft , Zarubezhgeologija, Technopromexport and others expressed interest in projects in Syria.
"The Geological exploration will be carried out on land and along the coast," the Ministry of Energy said, noting that Russia "together with Syrian partners" also assesses the possibility of restoring oil and gas fields, refineries and other infrastructure facilities.
Russian companies are also participating in projects to restore and upgrade Syrian thermal power plants, the Ministry of Energy stated. "The priority for the Syrian side is ensuring an uninterrupted power supply to cities and large settlements," the press service explained.
Earlier, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stated that Syria would not allow Western countries to participate in the reconstruction of the country. "Even though there is a war now, we have enough strength to rebuild the country. We are sure of it," said the Syrian President in an interview on NTV TV channel. Assad also stressed that if Syria does not have funds for reconstruction, it will borrow money from its "friends, the Syrians living abroad" or "from the treasury."
Assad estimated the damage from the war in Syria to amount to $400 billion. According to him, this is the amount that is necessary to rebuild the infrastructure in the country over the next 10-15 years.
In June last year, the newspaper Fontanka reported, citing it sources in the Russian Ministry of Energy, that contracts for the development of oil and gas deposits in Syria could be given to Russian company EuroPolis which is associated with the businessman, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
According to Fontanka, the company will receive the contracts in return for helping Assad forces to gain control over these deposits and providing security for oil and gas fields.
In the end of January, the Russian Ministry of Energy reported that Russia and Syria signed a road map of cooperation in power and electricity until 2018 and beyond, providing for the restoration, modernization and construction of new facilities in Syria.
First Deputy Minister of Energy Alexei Teksler then pointed out that the reconstruction of four thermal power plants in Syria is under discussion with the Syrian government. According to him, the company Technopromexport, which is a subsidiary of the corporation Rostec, can participate in the project.