At present, SNN is focusing on three major investment projects, said Cosmin Ghiță, Nuclearelectrica’s general manager, at a CNR-CME conference in Bucharest: the detritiation facility, the refurbishment of Unit 1 in Cernavodă and the project of Units 3 and 4.
“There is enough fiscal space for the first two projects to be developed, of course, by practicing a policy of careful management of income and expenditure,” said Cosmin Ghita. He also added: “The fact that we are a listed company allows us to use more financial solutions, along with issuing bonds coupled with a possible syndicated credit.” He also said that the market is very open, and globally there is more liquidity than projects to be financed. “At present, interest rates [are low]and the possibility of contracting affordable financing is very high. Sure, we talk about very long-term investment projects, and the financing conditions for them can oscillate, also depending on the dynamics of the international market.”
Cernavodă NPP Detritiation Facility is a project that will allow the extraction of tritium formed in heavy water as a result of the CANDU technology operation process. Detritiation of heavy water from the moderator and the primary circuit will reduce the costs with providing the radioprotection of the personnel involved in the Unit 1 refurbishment activities, as well as an improved access conditions by which “a reduction of the stopping time by about 40-50 days, with a direct impact on the economy of the refurbishment project”, will be possible.
According to the project implementation strategy, endorsed by Nuclearelectrica’s shareholders in 2018, there are also estimated some profits from the sale of tritium and heavy water after detritiation.
The refurbishment of Unit 1 in Cernavodă represents the largest investment project developed exclusively by Nuclearelectrica. With an estimated cost of 1.5 billion euros and actual work scheduled for 2026-2028, upgrading will lead to an extension of the unit’s life for another cycle (25-30 years), for costs situated around 40% of the ones which might be implied by building a similar new objective.
The project of Units 3 and 4 is related to the development of new nuclear units within the Cernavodă NPP by setting up a project company made up of local and foreign investors. On May 8, 2019, Nuclearelectrica signed with the Chinese companies China General Nuclear Power Corporation and CGN Central and Eastern Europe Investment the agreement to set up the project company to carry out the project.
“The fact that it will be realized through a project company makes this project to be achieved with minimal impact or the company’s indebtedness,” Cosmin Ghiţă explained at the conference “Impact of Changes of National Legislation on the Energy Sector”, organized by CNR- CME.