Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom opened a regional centre headquartered in Beijing on 7 April. "We are looking to expand our business in China, a market with huge potential for growth in the nuclear industry, and the activities of regional centre are designed to help strengthen our cooperation with the country," said Alexander Merten, president of Rosatom International Network (RIN). Rosatom is not only planning to build more new reactors with its long-standing partner China National Nuclear Corp, but is also expected to expand its business into "non-nuclear activities" such as agriculture, organic chemicals and nuclear medicine, Merten said. He was speaking on the sidelines of the 14th China International Nuclear Industry Exhibition in Beijing.
Units 1 and 2 of Tianwan NPP in Jiangsu province equipped with the Russian VVER1000 reactors are already in operation, while units 3 and 4 are under construction. Together with its Chinese counterparts, Rosatom has built a nuclear fuel plant and a gas centrifuge enrichment plant. Rosatom is also considering the possibility of building a new NPP in China's inland area, possibly in the northeastern Heilongjiang province. "I think the country also needs nuclear plants inland to feed its energy demand. Russia is one of the few countries with vast experience in building and operating inland nuclear plants," said Merten. Rosatom said the regional centre in China had been challenged "to strengthen current positions of the state-owned corporation at the national market, as well as to develop and seek new opportunities for development of businesses of Rosatom's enterprises both in nuclear power and non-energy spheres."
Two days before, Rosatom also opened a regional office in Dubai as its headquarters in the Middle East and North Africa. At the opening of the office, Merten noted that the presence of Soviet and Russian nuclear industry in the region dated back its history to the 1960s. First research reactors in the Middle East were built to the Russian technologies in Egypt (1961), Iraq (1967) and Libya (1981). At present, in the region Rosatom implements projects dealing with supplies of isotopes, natural uranium and enriched uranium products, radwaste management, and plans to build NPPs in Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, and Iran. "Therefore, opening a regional centre here is a quite natural and logical move in development of our cooperation with the Middle East companies," he said. Rosatom also has regional centres in Latin America, Central Asia, South-East Asia, and Western, Eastern and Central Europe.