Contracts have been signed with the main suppliers for the project to complete units 3 and 4 at the Mochovce nuclear power plant in Slovakia.
|Mochovce units 3 and 4 (Image: SE)
On 11 June in Bratislava, in the presence of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, utility Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) signed the relevant contracts for the completion of the two units with the suppliers of the nuclear island: a consortium led by Skoda JS and including Russia's AtomStroyExport (ASE) and three Slovakian suppliers.
Contracts dealing with the engineering, construction and project management of the conventional island were signed with Italy's Enel Ingegneria & Innovazione.
Also present at the signing ceremony were representatives of Areva-Siemens, which will supply the instrumentation and control (I&C) systems, and Skoda Power, which will supply the steam turbines.
In May 2008, the consortium led by Skoda JS - which includes ASE and Slovak suppliers Výskumný Ústav Jadrovej Energetiky (VÚJE), Enseco and Inžinierske Stavby Košice - submitted a bid to the tender for completing the nuclear islands at units 3 and 4 of Mochovce.
Skoda JS, a subsidiary of Russia's OMZ Group, said that its contract to supply key systems for Mochovce units 3 and 4, worth more than $520 million, represents "a great success that underlines the leading position of the company among Czech suppliers of large investment units." It added, "Contraction of this project guarantees development and expansion in the field of nuclear power industry in future years. It will also enable raising up a new generation of specialists, who will subsequently apply their skills and knowledge within the planned construction of new units at Temelin, Bohunice and Dukovany."
Construction of the four-unit Mochovce nuclear power plant was commenced in 1981 by Skoda, using Russian-design VVER 440/213 pressurized water reactor units. Work on units 3 and 4 was started in 1986 and halted in 1992. The first two were completed in 1998 and 2000, respectively, to supply 440 MWe each. Units 1 and 2 have been significantly upgraded and the instrument and control systems replaced with assistance from western companies. Units 3 and 4 - also VVER-440 units - have remained partly built.
In October 2004, the Slovak government approved Enel's bid to acquire 66% of SE as part of its privatization process. Enel's subsequent investment plan, approved in 2005, involves €1.88 billion ($2.75 billion) investment to increase generating capacity, including €1.6 billion ($2.3 billion) for completion of Mochovce units 3 and 4 by 2011-12. In January 2006, the government approved a new energy strategy incorporating these plans.
In February 2007, SE announced that it would proceed with Mochovce 3 and 4 construction, and that Enel had agreed to invest €1.8 billion ($2.6 billion) on this with a view to operation in 2012-13. SE has already invested €576 million ($844 million) in the two units. The government is depending substantially on the original 1986 construction permit including environmental clearance, which is now being challenged, with the need for a full new environmental impact assessment under EU law being asserted.
Skoda JS said that work on the project would begin this month. Unit 3 is scheduled to be completed in February 2013 and unit 4 is set to be finished in October 2013. Once in operation, the four reactors at the Mochovce plant will supply some 45% of Slovakia's power demand.