Slovak utility increases Mochovce expansion budget

31 March 2017

Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) shareholders have approved funding to complete units 3 and 4 of the Mochovce nuclear power plant. The Bratislava-based utility says its General Assembly on 28 March unanimously approved the Strategic Plan for 2017–2021, which includes a €5.4 billion ($5.8 billion) budget for the project.

According to Slovak news agency SITA, the cost of completing of the Mochovce reactors has thus increased for the fourth time and is now double the original estimate.

SE also said units 3 and 4 are expected to start operations by the end of 2018 and the end of 2019, respectively, which is six years later than the original schedule.

Slovakia has four operating nuclear units - two each at Bohunice and Mochovce. Construction began on Mochovce 3 and 4 in 1986 and resumed in 2008 after a 16-year hiatus.

At the start of this month, Mochovce 3 and 4 were 94.7% and 82.8% complete, SE said. There are more than 3500 SE workers and contractors on site and a further 6500 other employees indirectly working on the project. The number of man hours has reached almost 65 million and two-thirds of the work on site has been carried out by Slovak companies, SE said.

"Construction of these units is the largest private investment in the history of Slovakia, with Slovak and reputable foreign companies working on the construction site," SE said. "Mochovce 3 and 4 is one of the largest and most important projects that even in times of economic recession created many jobs in Slovakia."

Some 90% of the population living in the vicinity of the plant are in favour of completion of the new units, which will each have an installed capacity of 471 MWe and together supply about 13% of total Slovak power demand, thus avoiding the emission of more than 7 million tonnes of CO2, it added.

The nuclear island suppliers include Inžinierske Stavby Košice for civil works; Škoda JS, Enseco and VUJE for the mechanical systems; PPA for the electrical systems and equipment; and Areva/Siemens for the control system. Other suppliers include ASE, Rolls-Royce and GSE. The conventional island suppliers are ZIPP for the civil works; Škoda Power and Modrany Power for the mechanical systems; and ČKD, PPA, Energo & Schneider, Brush SEM and Techimp for the electrical systems and equipment.

SE is owned by the government, with a 34% stake, and a joint venture between Italian utility Enel and privately-held Czech energy group EPH. The Slovak government has agreed to the cost increase on condition that the majority shareholder - the Slovak Power Holding owned equally by Enel and EPH - secures the additional €800 million required for the project.

Enel, which sold half of its 66% stake in SE to Czech energy group EPH last summer, plans to sell its remaining 33% after completion of the two new units.

Enel acquired its stake in SE in 2006 for €840 million, agreeing to complete construction of two additional Mochovce units as part of the transaction, but launched a program in July 2014 to sell its holdings in Romania and Slovakia, as part of an ongoing effort to reduce the Italian group's financial debt.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News