Putin Says Russia Will Finance Paks Expansion

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday in Budapest that Russia was now willing to finance “100 percent” of the Paks II nuclear power plant expansion project in Hungary.

Paks NPPFour VVER reactors at the Paks plant, commissioned in 1982 – 1987, already produce more than 50 percent of Hungary's electricity generation. Two more Russian-designed reactors are planned for the site. Prior to Putin's statement, Russian financing for the project was scaled at 80 percent (with an $11 billion loan) with Hungarian investors expected to finance 20 percent.

“We are ready to finance 100 percent,” Putin said at a news conference, as reported by Turkey's Daily News.

The expansion project has already been under scrutiny by the European Commission, as the contract for the project was awarded without a tender process. This week, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban said that “most of the obstacles” for the project had been resolved.

The project calls for construction of two VVER 1,200 MW reactors to begin in 2018 with the first of those reactors up and running by 2023.

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