Belene equipment contract for Russian companies

27 October 2009

Russian engineering companies Power Machines and AtomEnergoProm have signed a contract to supply major power generating equipment for a two-unit nuclear plant planned for Bulgaria.

Belene, as it could look
Under the terms of the latest contract, OJSC Power Machines will design, manufacture and supply the two steam turbine sets, condensers and auxiliary turbine system equipment and two sets of turbo generators plus auxiliary systems equipment. The components are scheduled for delivery in 2011-2012. According to AtomEnergoProm, similar components manufactured by Power Machines have performed well at the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China, and the Belene components will incorporate "new solutions" to fit them to the customer's needs.

Russia's AtomStroyExport is lined up to build two AES-92 1060 MWe pressurized water reactors at Belene under a €4 billion ($6 billion) turn-key contract signed in January 2008. Construction officially started on 3 September 2008, and Areva-Siemens consortium Carsib signed up to supply instrumentation and control later in the year. A contract for the pressure vessels and steam generators was placed with Russia's OMZ in June 2009.
Forgemasters forge links

Power Machines has placed its first order for electricity generation components with UK supplier Sheffield Forgemasters. The UK company has says the multi-million pound contracts, for major components including turbine rotors for fossil fuel and hydroelectric plants, has expanded its grip on the Russian market. Sheffield Forgemasters manufactures high quality components for fossil, thermal and nuclear power generation.
The two units were due for completion in December 2013 and June 2014, although by December 2008 it appeared that those dates were likely to slip by about a year. However, following a change of government in Bulgaria earlier this year there has been widespread concern over whether the funding for the plant would be available, with the new government looking likely to take only a 20% stake in the plant rather than its originally anticipated 51% and strategic investor RWE also expected to reduce its stake.

Bulgaria was forced to close a total of four nuclear units at its Kozloduy plant as a condition of its 2007 accession to the European Union, and has now been granted an extension of European Union financial support to enable it to adapt to the loss of over 1600 MWe in generating capacity.