Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Romania Delays Reactor Decision to End of Year, Ministry Says

Romania postponed until the end of the year a decision on whether to keep its majority in two planned nuclear reactors or reduce its stake in the project, Economy Ministry officials said.

The Romanian state, which owns 51 percent in the venture to build and operator the reactors, was expected to make a final decision by Sept. 24, the deadline set in an agreement with four energy companies and a steelmaker, Economy Minister Ion Ariton said in an interview today in Bucharest. The partners agreed to the delay, he said.

Italy’s Enel SpA, Iberdrola SA of Spain, Belgium’s Electrabel SA, Germany’s RWE AG and steelmaker ArcelorMittal formed EnergoNuclear with Nuclearelectrica, Romania’s atomic energy administrator, two years ago to build and operate two reactors at a cost of about 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion). CEZ AS the Czech utility, which held 9.12 percent of the venture, said on Sept. 22 it plans sell its stake to focus on domestic investments.

“In the next three months, one or more investors involved in the project can decide to buy the stake” owned by CEZ, Doru Voicu, an adviser to the economy minister, said in a phone interview. “From the information we have until now, all the other investors are still interested in continuing the project and we don’t have any reason to try to search for others. Of course if some of them decide not to continue we will start negotiating with other investors.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at isavu@bloomberg.net; Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez in Prague atjagomez@bloomberg.net

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