Raising finances the nuclear way

09 September 2009

Uranium and nuclear projects in Africa, Australia and Russia are set to be the recipients of funds raised by two separate financing moves announced by Russian state nuclear company Rosatom and Australia-based uranium company Paladin.

Rosatom announced its plans for a major bond offering worth up to 195 billion roubles (US$6.3 billion) through its subsidiary AtomEnergoProm. The five-year 1000-rouble bonds will be sold through the MICEX stock exchange, with Rosatom acting as guarantor.

AtomEnergoProm executive director Kiril Komarov described the bond offering as an effective tool to attract investment, given the long-term nature of nuclear power plant construction projects and the current financial market situation in Russia. He said that the placement fund would make a "significant contribution not only to the development of nuclear energy, but also in revitalising the real sector of Russia's economy as a whole." 
The funds will be used to refinance existing short-term loans and to help support the investment programs for Rosatom affiliates over the period 2009-2010. Recipients of the money have been named as Energoatom (for the implementation of its nuclear power plant construction program), TVEL (modernization and renewal of nuclear fuel production), ARMZ Uranium Holding (development of mining assets in Russia and abroad within joint ventures), TENEX and United Company Enrichment Sublimation Complex (modernisation and renewal of production facilities including a shift to a new generation of gas centrifuges), and Atomenergomash (investments in nuclear engineering for implementation of the NPPs' new units commissioning program). 


Drilling at Skal Project, Mt Isa (Paladin)
Skal deposit, Queensland: one of Paladin's Australian exploration ventures (Image: Paladin)

Paladin placement

Paladin Energy has also announced its plans to raise its own funding through an institutional private placement of shares. The placement of 93.45 million shares represents some 15% of the company's issued capital and will raise A$419 million ($359 million).

Paladin says some of the funds will be used to progress its recently announced plans for the third stage of expansion at its Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia, and to expand its exploration and pre-development programs in Australia.