CGN to invest in new Cernavoda units

20 October 2014

China General Nuclear (CGN) has been designated as the "selected investor" for the development of units 3 and 4 at Romania's Cernavoda nuclear power plant. A letter of intent has been signed to complete the two units.

Cernavoda 3 and 4 - 460 (Nuclearelectrica)
The partially-completed units 3 and 4 at Cernavoda (Image: Nuclearelectrica)

Romanian state-owned nuclear utility Nuclearelectrica announced on 17 October that it had selected CGN as an investor in the project. CGN was the only company to submit a non-binding bid by the 9 September deadline for the contract to build the two new reactors.

On the same day, Nuclearelectrica and CGN signed a joint letter of intent to complete the two units.

"According to the amended time schedule, the following stages of the selection process are: the negotiation and signing of the memorandum of understanding regarding the joint implementation of the project and the negotiation of the articles of incorporation and investors' agreement of the new project company," Nuclearelectrica said. The memorandum of understanding will be submitted at the Nuclearelectrica shareholders general meeting on 8 December for approval, it added.

Under the terms of the investor selection process, CGN must hold at least 51% of the share in the new joint venture project company. Nuclearelectrica will be a minority shareholder in the project.

CGN and Nuclearelectrica signed a letter of intent last November for investment in and development of Cernavoda units 3 and 4. In July, CGN subsidiary China Nuclear Power Engineering Company (CNPEC) signed a "binding and exclusive" cooperation agreement with Canada-headquartered Candu Energy Inc, an SNC-Lavalin company, for the construction of Cernavoda 3 and 4.

Cernavoda is home to two operating Candu 6 pressurized heavy water reactors supplied by 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.

Efforts to resume work on Cernavoda 3 began in 2002, and a new project company, EnergoNuclear, was established in 2009 to oversee the completion of units 3 and 4. Initial partners GDF Suez, CEZ, RWE Power and Iberdrola subsequently withdrew, and the company is currently 100% owned by Nuclearelectrica. The Romanian state has been looking for new investors in the project to enable Nuclearelectrica to reduce its share.

The partially-built units 3 and 4 at Cernavoda are currently in conservation, with civil structures 52% and 30% completed at each unit respectively. No major equipment has yet been installed at either unit.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News