MOSCOW, July 11 (Reuters) - Russia's third-largest crude producer TNK-BP,
half owned by British oil major BP , is looking to sell a blocking stake in a Siberian power plant within three years, a TNK-BP executive said on Wednesday.
TNK-BP bought the 25 percent stake in Nizhnevartovsk power plant from electricity firm OGK-1 for 230 million euros ($281.88 million)in 2008.
Mikhail Slobodin, TNK-BP's executive for gas and power, said the company does not regard its participation in the project as viable and if looking to sell its stake.
'We are ready to consider a possibility of exiting this project,' Slobodin said.
Under the current agreement, Nizhnevartovsk consumes over 3 billion cubic metres of TNK-BP's gas per year, while the company receives electricity from the plant in turn.
'A long-term contract was signed... Our further presence at the Nizhnevartovsk plant is deprived of any meaning for us,' Slobodin said adding that TNK-BP has notified the state power holding company InterRAO, which owns OGK-1, about its intention to sell.
TNK-BP is looking into ways to increase its own power generation base partly to limit the single largest cost on its books as state electricity tariffs rise.
The government increased electricity tariffs by around 127 percent between 2007 and 2011 - more than any other tariff, including transportation - to raise funds to modernise its creaking power grid and boost state coffers.
($1 = 0.8160 euros)
(Reporting by Nastya Lyrchikova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by David Cowell) Keywords: TNK BP/POWER
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