First contract for Franco-Russian partnership

29 September 2008

The joint venture set up by France's Alstom and Atomenergomash of Russia has signed its first contract: an agreement to design the turbine generator package for a new nuclear power plant at Seversk.


The Alstom Atomenergomash LLC partnership, was established in 2007 to manufacture all the turbine islands of the forthcoming new Russian nuclear power plants. The country has plans to double nuclear power capacity by 2020, building at the rate of three new reactors per year once it gets up to speed. 


The joint venture's first contract has come in the form of a deal to produce design the equipment for the Seversk nuclear power plant to be built in Siberia. The 2400 MWe plant will comprise two 1200 MWe AES-2006 VVERs (pressurized water reactors), with construction slated to begin in 2010. The contract covers the engineering of the turbine generator package and turbine hall equipment, based on Alstom's Arabelle half-speed turbine technology. Alstom Atomenergomash has manufacturing facilities in Podolsk, near Moscow, and an engineering centre in St Petersburg.


According to Rosatom, Russia's central office of nuclear power, the design documentation prepared by the joint venture with technical support from Alstom, will be used by client AtomEnergoProekt in the feasibility study for the plant. Later in the project, the joint venture will draft materials for the technical project, possibly building the turbine island on a 'turnkey' basis in compliance with Russian rules and standards.


Russian commentators are welcoming the joint venture. Phillip Ruberg, director of electrophysics at the Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, described the contract as a positive step. "We need to restore our nuclear equipment industry and must do it very quickly," he said, adding that joint ventures were the best way to achieve this. "This project gives us access to new technologies and markets where the French are considered to be more reliable than we. We will gradually catch up with our rivals, will restore our machine building industry and will improve our position on the market," he said.


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