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Russian Technologies to Build Biofuel Factory

Russian Technologies will begin construction of the country's first biofuel factory next spring, the state corporation's chief, Sergei Chemezov, said Monday.

The factory — to be located in the Irkutsk region — will turn wood chips and other timber byproducts into biobutanol, he told President Dmitry Medvedev in a meeting.

“As far as timber, we have enough of it to produce biofuels,” Medvedev replied, according to a transcript on the Kremlin web site.

Brazil and several European countries make biofuels from the byproducts of sugar cane, corn and rapeseed.

Russian Technologies is also taking the lead in creating a homegrown open-source computer operating system to be based on Linux, Chemezov said.

Intended for use in the public sector, the software already runs in Kazan and will also run in Samara, Veliky Novgorod and Tula. It is the product of the Sirius holding company.

Medvedev praised the work as important for national security, saying major international software vendors often don't give customers their source code, which determines how the program works.

At the meeting, Medvedev got to hold a prototype of a Russian-designed mobile telephone for the fourth-generation network. To be made in Taiwan initially, the phone will replace the current model that was also designed in Russia, Chemezov said. Eventually the manufacturing will move to Russia, he said.

Chemezov also said a titanium joint venture with Boeing, set up with the blessing of U.S. President Barack Obama, had begun shipping first products to Seattle.

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