Spanish utility Iberdrola could soon be adding projects in Russia and the CIS to its extensive international portfolio after the company signed a co-operation agreement with Russian power company Inter Rao.

The two companies say that the purpose of the new agreement is to jointly analyse business opportunities in the electricity sectors of Russia, CIS countries, the European Union and Latin America.

Further development of the agreement would give Iberdrola a foothold in the Russian power market, where massive investments are required to meet growing electricity demand and modernise the existing infrastructure. It would also give Inter Rao access to Iberdrola’s portfolio in Latin America, which includes investments in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Guatemala.

Iberdrola and Inter Rao will consider projects in the fields of generation, distribution and marketing of energy. The Russian firm last year signed a similar agreement with Italian firm Enel.

International expansion is one of the pillars of Iberdrola’s 2008-2010 strategic plan, under which the firm has pledged investments of EUR24 billion.

Inter Rao has an installed generating capacity of 8000 MW and is the leading importer and export of electricity in Russia. It heads a group of more than 20 companies operating in 14 countries in Europe, the South Caucasus, the Far East and Central Asia.