CGN agrees to invest in completion of Romanian reactors

08 May 2019

A preliminary investors' agreement has today been signed between Romanian national nuclear company Nuclearelectrica and China General Nuclear (CGN) regarding the completion of units 3 and 4 at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

The unfinished units 3 and 4 at Cernavoda (Image: Nuclearelectrica)

The investors' agreement in the preliminary form (PIA) was signed at the Ministry of Energy in Bucharest by Nuclearelectrica, CGN and CGN Central and Eastern Europe Investment (Romania) Co (CEERI). The signing took place in the presence of Romanian Vice Prime-Minister Viorel Stefan; Minister of Energy Anton Anton; China's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Romania Jiang Yu; and Economic Counsellor of China to Romania Guan Gang.

The PIA was approved by Nuclearelectrica's shareholders during its General Meeting of Shareholders on 10 April. CGN has also completed its internal approval process of the agreement.

The agreement calls for the setting up of a joint venture project company as a "technical and operational platform" for the completion of Cernavoda 3 and 4, which will be 700 MWe Candu 6 pressurised heavy water reactors. Under the agreement, the joint venture will be established within the next 60 working days for an initial period of two years. CGN will hold a 51% stake in the project company, with Nuclearelectrica holding the remaining 49%.

"Reaching a consensus in the negotiation process, mutually advantageous for both parties, realised by the approval of Nuclearelectrica's shareholders of the investors' agreement in the preliminary form, is in actuality the effective initiation of the concrete measures to continue and develop of Cernavoda units 3 and 4," said Anton. "During the initial two-year duration of the new project company we will define and structure the model to continue the project, being in fact the first essential stage prior to the construction of the two units."

Bian Shuming, general manager of CGN Romania Nuclear Power Co, said CGN is fully committed to working closely together with its Romanian partner on the successful development of the next phases of the project in line with the agreed principles.

Cernavoda is already home to two operating Candu 6 reactors supplied by Candu Energy's predecessor, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL), and built by a Canadian-Italian consortium of AECL and Ansaldo. Unit 1 started up in 1996, but work was suspended on a further four units in 1991. Unit 2 was subsequently completed and has been in operation since 2007.

In July 2014, China Nuclear Power Engineering Co (CNPEC) signed a "binding and exclusive" cooperation agreement with Candu Energy for the construction of two more reactors at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant in Romania. CGN is CNPEC's parent company.

In September 2014, CGN submitted the sole non-binding bid for the contract to build two new reactors at Cernavoda and was declared a "qualified investor" in the project.

Nuclearelectrica and CGN signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2015 for the development, construction, operation and decommissioning of Cernavoda 3 and 4.

Nuclearelectrica said today's signing of the PIA "represents an essential stage of the selection process launched in 2014 from the technical and operational point of view."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News