Tuesday, June 24, 2014

WSJ: China’s ICBC to Finance Romanian Nuclear Project

BUCHAREST–Romanian Vice-Premier Liviu Dragnea said on Monday that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China 601398.SH +0.29% has agreed to finance the construction of two additional reactors at the country’s nuclear power plant in Cernavoda.

“The bank’s president presented the management’s decision to financially support the energy projects Romania and China agreed upon, namely the construction of the third and fourth reactors in Cernavoda, as well as other investment projects currently in advance negotiations,” Dragnea told reporters after a meeting with Jiang Jianqing, the chief executive of ICBC, which is the world’s largest bank.

Dragnea said the Chinese bank is considering opening a local subsidiary in Romania.

“Given the value of the projects to be financed, which could exceed €10 billion [$13.6 billion], the bank is analyzing the possibility to open a unit in Romania,” he told reporters. “They already have a subsidiary in Poland.”

Romania’s nuclear power project in Cernavoda, valued at more than €6 billion, was initially scheduled to kick off in 2010, but was shelved due to lack of funds after four of the initial six investors withdrew, citing economic and market uncertainties.

The country’s remaining two partners, Italian utility Enel ENEL.MI -3.38% andArcelorMittal MT +0.66% Romania, withdrew from the project in late 2013.

Cernavoda operates two reactors generating 700 megawatts power each and covers around 20% of Romania’s electricity production. The two new reactors are expected to double the plant’s capacity.

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