Romania plans Cernavoda JV

12 August 2014

Nuclearelectrica is looking for a private investor to take a majority stake in the joint venture it plans to create to manage the expansion of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant.

The state-run Romanian nuclear power producer said on 8 August that it will provide 49% - or not more than €2 million ($2.7 million) - of the investment necessary to start up the new company, which will become an independent electricity producer within two years of its formation.

The investor will need to ensure that the project to add two reactors to the Cernavoda plant uses Candu 6 technology and to guarantee it meets national and European Union nuclear safety requirements, Nuclearelectrica said. Romania plans to add units 3 and 4 to cover a deficit in electricity generating capacity expected after 2020, it added.

Nuclearelectrica published its strategy for the project to build the new Cernavoda reactors yesterday and plans to submit it for shareholder approval on 22 August.

In November, Nuclearelectrica signed a letter of intent towards the development of the two units with China General Nuclear. Then in July, China Nuclear Power Engineering Co signed a "binding and exclusive" cooperation agreement with Candu Energy Inc for the construction of the two additional reactors at the Cernavoda plant.

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 84.65% owned by Nuclearelectrica. The Romanian state has since then been looking for new investors in the project to enable Nuclearelectrica to reduce its share.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News