Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Romania Gets 3 Letters of Intent for Nuclear Reactors

Romania’s government received letters of intent from three prospective bidders for a 4 billion-euro ($5.4 billion) contract to build two nuclear reactors on the Black Sea coast, the Economy Ministry said.

The potential bidders include Bechtel Group Inc., a group led by Canadian construction company SNC Lavalin Nuclear Inc. and another led by Russia’s Atomtechnoprom, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement today.

The construction and engineering contract will be awarded by the first half of 2012, according to the statement.

The group led by SNC Lavalin includes Italy’s Ansaldo Nucleare SpA and Romania’s Elcomex IEA SA; the Atomtechnoprom group takes in four other Russian companies, the ministry said.

Construction of the plants will double the number of reactors in Romania to four, each with a capacity of 700 megawatts. Two existing atomic facilities supply about 18 percent of the country’s energy needs.

A committee will assess the documents filed by the prospective bidders to qualify for the next stages of the process: presentation of preliminary offers, final offers, selection of the winner and the awarding of the contract, the ministry said.

EnergoNuclear, the venture formed by the Romanian government with international partners to operate the two reactors, said on its website that the first will be operational in 2017. The government currently owns 60 percent of the venture, which also includes Italy’s Enel SpA,Iberdrola SA of Spain, Belgium’s Electrabel SA, Germany’s RWE AG and steelmakerArcelorMittal.

Romania bought 9 percent previously owned by CEZ AS of the Czech Republic, which withdrew from the project to focus on its domestic investments. Romania will decide at the end of February whether to keep or reduce its stake.

To contact the reporter on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at isavu@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net.

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