The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is holding public hearings in Ukraine on the completion of the two partly-built units at Khmelnitsky (unit 2) and Rovno (unit 4). So far meetings have been held at Rovno, Neteshin and Kiev.
In 1995 the G7 pledged to help Ukraine compensate for the electricity lost when Chernobyl shuts down. The G7 asked the EBRD to help finance the completion project, at an estimated cost of $1.720 billion.
The EBRD is considering lending the Ukrainian nuclear utility, Energoatom, $190 million toward the construction of the plants. Under pressure from the G7, the EBRD agreed to support the K2-R4 project on condition that “due diligence procedures” are satisfied.
Energoatom construction manager Gennady Sazanov admits that Energoatom collects only 4.5% of energy payments in cash. However, he says Energoatom will send the EBRD a report showing how the new reactors will be profitable enough to repay the loan. A final report will be submitted to the EBRD before any decision is taken, probably next year.
Ukraine’s Deputy Energy Minister, Mikhail Umanets, has repeated that Ukraine will not be able to close down Chernobyl by the year 2000 as promised because Western countries are not providing financial aid fast enough. Only about one-fifth of the $640 million required has so far been received. However, the European Union says it is willing to “dramatically” increase aid to Ukraine to help Chernobyl to close by 2000. EU leaders at the EU-Ukraine summit in Vienna said financial help for K2-R4 would be guaranteed if the 2000 shutdown is achieved.