Foreign investors ditch Cernavoda 3&4 project

24 January 2011

European electricity utilities that make up 33.7% of the company restarting construction of Romania's 720MW PHWRs Cernavoda 3&4 have pulled out of the project.

In January, GDF Suez, RWE and Iberdrola announced their intentions to pull out of the EnergoNuclear project. In a statement, they explained why: "Economic and market uncertainties surrounding this project, related for the most part to the present financial crisis, are not reconcilable now with the capital requirements of a new nuclear power project."

Also in January, Czech Republic utility CEZ pulled out of the deal, selling its shares back to Romanian utility NuclearElectrica.

Remaining investors include Enel (9.15%), ArcelorMittal Romania (6.2%) and, before CEZ's withdrawal, the Romanian state at 51%.

Despite the setback, two consortia have submitted letters of intent to build the reactors, following a public tender issued in 2010. The first is led by Bechtel International and includes SNC Lavalin Nuclear, Ansaldo Nucleare and Elcomex IEA. The second is led by Atomtechnoprom of Russia with four other Russian firms, according to Romanian website Romania Business Insider.

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