Romania NPP Expansion Threatened by Major Companies Quitting

Energy | January 20, 2011, Thursday // 18:14|  views

The Cernavoda NPP in Romania is seen in Bulgaria as a competitor to the Belene NPP project. Photo by Wikipedia

Major companies RWE, GDF Suez and Iberdrola have decided to quit the project for the building of additional Units 3 and 4 of the Romanian Cernavoda NPP.

The reason given by the three companies (based in Germany, France and Spain respectively) is the absence of a clear regulatory framework and uncertainty about increased electricity demand for the future, according to the Dow Jones agency.

Over the fall, another partner in the joint project, Czech CEZ, announced it also withdraws from the Cernavoda expansion, motivating its move as being in line with the company plans to focus on its main investments in the Czech Republic and on consolidating existing acquisitions abroad.

RWE, who in the past has also withdrawn from the Bulgarian Belene NPP project, has further pointed out to the financial crisis that according to them inflicts economic uncertainty about the viability of the Romanian project.

Apart from Romanian state company Nuclearelectrica, Italian Enel and Belgium-based ArcelorMittal have remained in the project, but Dow Jones comments that both Enel and Arcelor are somewhat unlikely to continue their participation.

Nuclearelectrica has also requested to diminish its share in the joint company from 51% to 20%, which renders the project's future uncertain.

Cernavoda NPP has two functioning units at a joint power of 706 MW, which currently produce about 18% of Romania's total electricity consumption. The second operational reactor at Romania's NPP Cernavoda was launched in 2007; the two units reactors are Canadian-made.

The completion of Cernavoda Units 3 and 4, initially scheduled for 2014 and 2015, would double Romania's production of electricity from nuclear energy. The Energonuclear holding company was established for the expansion project with two 720-MW units, which is estimated to cost EUR 4 B.

In principle, an additional fifth unit is previewed for the Romanian NPP.

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Tags: Cernavoda NPP, Romania, Belene NPP, CEZ, RWE, Enel, ArcelorMittal, GDF Suez, Iberdrola


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