Russian reactor designer and constructor to merge

22 July 2008

Russian reactor builder AtomStroyExport (ASE) and design organization St Petersburg Scientific Research and Design Institute AtomEnergoProekt (SPbAEP) are to merge to boost their chances in the international nuclear reactor market.


According to ASE, the goal of the merger is to "obtain and make use of new opportunities for expansion of NPP construction activitiy." The merger will enable ASE to strengthen its engineering competencies, it says, increasing the competitiveness of Russian reactor building both at home and abroad.


ASE is currently responsible for implementing Russian nuclear construction contracts abroad, boasting units under construction at Kudankulam in India and Bushehr in Iran. Earlier this month it received the go-ahead to build two units at Bulgaria's Belene plant. Two units it has built at Tianwan in China are now operating.


SPbAEP is one of three Russian nuclear design institutes. As well as being the general designer of the Tianwan units, it boasts nuclear power plants including Russia's Kola and Beloyarsk, Bohunice and Movhovce in Slovakia, Dukovany and Temelin in the Czech Republic and Finland's Loviisa among its design credits.


Both companies are part of Rosatom, Russia's federal atomic energy agency which encompasses the entire nuclear industry and is responsible to the country's president. Earlier this month, Rosatom announced that the SPbAEP had been reorganized from a federal state unitary enterprise into an open joint stock company, with 100% of its shares to be transferred into the ownership of Atomenergoprom, the vertically integrated holding company set up in 2007 to design, build, operate and maintain nuclear power plants, including projects outside Russia.