Slovenské Elektrárne expects Mochovce 3 to start up in 2016

21 January 2015

Improvements in efficiency at the construction site of the Mochovce nuclear power plant mean the internal reactor parts of unit 3 can be installed by the middle of this year, Slovenské Elektrárne general manager Luca D'Agnese said yesterday.

Pavlis at Mochovce - Jan 2015 - 460
Economy minister Pavol Pavlis, left, inspects construction progress during his visit to the Mochovce plant (Image: Slovak Ministry of Economy)

"The third unit should begin to commercially produce electricity in November 2016 and the fourth a year after that," D'Agnese said, according to a statement Slovenské Elektrárne issued to mark the most recent visit to the Mochovce site by Slovak economy minister Pavol Pavlis.

According to Bloomberg News, Pavlis said during the visit that Enel had received four bids for its majority stake in Slovenské Elektrárne. Czech utility CEZ and a Hungarian group made up of MOL Nyrt's Slovnaft and state-owned MVM have reportedly submitted non-binding bids for Enel's Slovak assets.

The Italian utility launched a program in July last year to sell its holdings in Romania and Slovakia, including its stake in Slovenské Elektrárne. Divestment of these assets is part of a €6 billion ($8 billion) asset sale begun by Enel in 2013 to reduce the group's financial debt.

Pavlis added that Enel will evaluate all the offers it has received by April.

"The sale process and the completion of Mochovce are clearly very closely linked," Pavlis reportedly said. "Finishing Mochovce is a priority for the government."

The minister was referring to the fact that the Mochovce project has been hampered by delays and cost overruns.

In 2006, Enel paid €840 million ($1.1 billion) for its 66% stake in Slovenské Elektrárne and, as part of the transaction, it agreed to complete construction of two additional reactors at the Mochovce nuclear power plant.

Construction began on the two additional units at Mochovce in 1986 and resumed in 2008 after a 16-year hiatus. Mochovce 3 and 4 had been expected to start up in 2012-2013 and the estimated cost of completing the project has risen from €2 billion in 2007 to €4.6 billion.

Slovenské Elektrárne said that during this, his latest, visit to the Mochovce construction site, Pavlis was told that unit 3 is about 82% complete.

Pavlis noted that in November he had warned the company "the Italians will breathe down my neck" if progress was not made with the Mochovce project, but added that there clearly has been progress.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News