Fiat is considering building a plant in St Petersburg, Dmitry Levchenkov, director of the special economic zone and project financing department at Russia’s economic development ministry, said, apparently confirming earlier media reports.

Fiat is considering St Petersburg as an alternative site to Nizhny Novgorod, where the carmaker was initially expected to build a plant, Levchenkov told Prime News, adding that Fiat is expected to choose the site for its plant in September–November.

The St Petersburg government is holding talks with Fiat, offering several sites for the plant’s construction, a representative of the city’s committee for investments and strategic projects told reporters without providing specifics. The representative only said that the offer did not include a site that had been earlier prepared for Japanese carmaker Suzuki which dropped plans to build a plant in mid-2009.

In late June, Fiat signed an industry assembly agreement with the economic development ministry under which the company is to produce about 120,000 cars in Russia per year, as well as building an engine plant. The company is expected to invest over US$1bn in the project.