US Electricity Daily
August 30, 2002
Export Development Canada (EDC) is negotiating with France’s Société Générale, a private bank, over support for the Cernavoda 2 nuclear plant in Romania. The plant is a Canadian Candu 600 MW reactor which Atomic Energy Canada Ltd. is building in the country. Construction is reportedly about 50 percent complete, but Romania needs another $600 million to finish the plant.
Société Générale is said to be ready to lend some $100 million to French firms, including Alstom, for nuclear equipment and services to the plant. EDC is considering a loan guarantee to support AECL’s bid to complete Cernavoda 2. EDC, a quasi-governmental Canadian funding agency, previously supported AECL’s construction of Cernavoda 1, which ground to a halt in 1989 during the regime of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Ceausescu aspired to build a major fleet of nuclear plants, which may have contributed to his downfall, as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Official details of the Cernavoda 2 negotiations are confidential, according to EDC’s spokeswoman Daniela Pizzuto, because financing has not been completed. According to Pizzuto, the full AECL environmental assessment of the project is available on the U.S. Export-Import Bank website at http://www.exim.gov/envproj.html. The Ex-Im Bank is also being asked to support the project. Romanian developers have also asked Euratom, the European Community’s nuclear power promotion agency, for some $350 million in aid to the project.