With the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project likely to be commissioned in August, Russia has agreed to extend a $3.4-billion credit for setting up two more 1,000-MW atomic power plants at the same site in Tamil Nadu.

The two nations signed a protocol on Tuesday in Moscow for financing units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam project, under which the Russian Federation will extend export credit amounting up to $3.4 billion for 85 per cent of the value of works, supplies and services provided by the Russian organisations for the two units.

The protocol also has provisions for state export credit amounting to $800 million, at 4 per cent interest, for financing up to 85 per cent nuclear fuel and control assemblies.The estimated cost of building units 3 and 4 at Kudankulam will be Rs.32,000 crore, out of which Rs.17,000 crore is expected to be met through the Russian state credit, a Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) statement said.

The protocol was signed by A P Joshi, Special Secretary in the DAE, and S A Storchak, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation.

After facing seven months of protest, the Kudankulam project is at an advanced stage of completion, with the first 1,000-MW unit expected to be commissioned next month.