More delays for Slovakia’s Mohovce NPP

25 October 2016

Slovakia's Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ÚJD) said on 19 October that completion of unit 3 at the Mochovce NPP would be delayed by a year to November 2017, and that unit 4 should be finished by November 2018. Mohovce NPP, operated by Slovenske Elektrarne (SE), is owned by Italy's Enel (33%), Czech group EPH (33%), and the Slovak state (34%). Enel signed a deal with EPH in December to sell its stake in SE in two stages, 33% initially and the rest after the Mochovce expansion is completed. EPH will eventually sell 17% of its stake in SE to the government.

The project has faced several delays and cost overruns, partly due to increased security standards following Japan's Fukushima accident in 2011. Economy Minister Peter Ziga said earlier that the costs were likely to exceed the €4.6bn ($5.1bn) budget. The original estimate for the two new units was €2.8bn. Hospodarske Noviny said earlier this year that the project would require an additional €500m. The government would have to approve any budget changes.

Mohovce NPP currently operates two VVER-440 units (1 and 2) with two more partially built. In February 2007, SE announced that it would proceed with Mochovce 3 and 4 completion and in July 2008, the European Commission approved completion of the units subject to the design being brought into line with international best practice. Site works began in November 2008 and   construction started after contracts for more than €370m were signed with Skoda JS, Russia's Atomstroyexport (ASE) and Slovak suppliers Výskumný Ústav Jadrovej Energetiky (VÚJE), Enseco and Inžinierske Stavby Košice was to supply the remaining nuclear island equipment, with part of the instrumentation and control (I&C) systems being from Siemens. Contracts for engineering, construction and project management of the conventional island were signed with Enel and involve the use of Skoda Power steam turbines.

Following delay resulting from post Fukushima EU stress tests, startup was planned for 2013 and 2014. Uprating was planned by 2016, adding 62MWe total to the original 880MWe gross.  However, continued disagreement between Enel and the other shareholders led to further delays and cost increases. In October 2014 unit 3 was 80% complete and unit 4 60%. In May 2016 Rusatom Service signed an agreement with Czech Skoda JS to provide technical support for installation of primary circuit equipment, as well as for work on commissioning the two units.

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