China General Nuclear Power Group has signed a $7.7 billion financial deal with Romania's state-owned nuclear power company Nuclearelectrica SA that covers the construction of the third and fourth reactors for the Cernavoda nuclear power plant in southeastern Romania.
The facility on the banks of the Danube River is currently comprised of two 700 MW Candu 6 heavy-water reactors that went into service in 1996 and 2007, respectively. Plans for a third and fourth reactor at the site 48 miles from the Black Sea were derailed in 2011 when key financial backers, including RWE from Germany, DDF Suez from France and Iberdrola from Spain pulled out while the global economy was still reeling from widespread recessions.
The third and fourth units will be built using the same Canadian technology, but CGN will own 51 percent of the new units, while Nuclearelectrica SA will own the remaining shares. The state-owned Romanian company is 81.3 percent owned by the government.
The two companies have been moving steadily towards a deal since CGN won the government-sponsored tender last fall. CGN was the only bidder on the project.
CNG reached a deal in October with Electricite de France and the British government that paves the way for China to export its own nuclear technology to Europe. The deal with Nuclearelectrica does not currently include plans for a Chinese reactor in Romania, but the financial deal is still viewed as a significant step for China, which envisions building nuclear power plants around the world.
"We will move forward on the Romanian nuclear project step by step, together with our partners from Romania, Canada and other countries in Europe," said CGN Chairman He Yu, chairman said in October.
China is also moving forward with other energy deals in Romania. In September, the Romanian government approved the draft of an agreement for Complexul Energetic Oltenia to discuss a deal with China Huandian Engineering about construction of two coal-fired power plants, creating a joint venture in which Chinese investors will own 91.06 percent of the company.
Complexul Energetic Oltenia currently produces about 30 percent of Romania's power generation, employing three coal-fired facilities. The two units at the Cernavoda nuclear power station, meanwhile, produces 18 percent of Romania's electricity.
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