The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is still considering a $190 million loan to complete nuclear generating units Khmelnitsky 2 and Rovno 4 (K2/R4). EBRD financing could unlock a $500 million loan from the European Union-funded nuclear agency, Euratom. Funding was thrown into doubt when the European Investment Bank (EIB) concluded earlier this year that Ukraine’s problems in meeting electricity demand are mainly linked to fuel shortages in power stations due to non-payment for fuel and not to a lack of electricity-generating capacity. However, EBRD coordinator for the K2/R4 project, William Franks, believes there are solid economic grounds for backing construction of the reactors.
“K2 and R4 are the least-cost options in Ukraine because the existing capacity is old and inefficient and the fuel costs of that capacity are relatively higher than the fuel costs of K2/R4,” he told Radio Free Europe. But he indicated that the timing of an EBRD decision may be slipping.
“At the moment, we are working on actually preparing the decision paper, and we are working on a financing plan for the project. And I would expect that a decision would be made ... possibly in the first half [of this year]. But on the other hand, there are many decisions that are in the hands of the Ukrainians.”