The US government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has overseen a "political risk insurance contract" for Ukraine’s Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility (CSFSF) to be sited at the Chernobyl nuclear site.
OPIC is providing insurance to support the project trust's $250m fixed-rate bond securities issuance in US capital markets, which will fund a 20-year loan to Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom. The facility, which Energoatom and US Holtec International began building last November, will store used fuel from three of Ukraine's four NPPs – Rovno, South Ukraine and Khmelnitsky. The Zaporozhye nuclear plant has its own dry storage facility for used fuel.
The contract, Ukraine's first access to US capital markets, has both political as well as economic aspects. "In addition to advancing a major energy security project in a region critical to American foreign policy, this project marks a milestone in the innovative use of political risk insurance to help developing countries access the capital markets to finance major infrastructure projects," OPIC said.
In addition to bolstering energy infrastructure in Ukraine, the project will generate about $225m of procurement of American-made goods and services. Holtec International of Camden, New Jersey, will supply storage casks, along with other equipment and training to the project over five years, OPIC noted.
Energoatom said the CSFSF would avoid the "hundreds of millions of dollars" Ukraine spends every year on the shipment and storage of its used nuclear fuel in Russia.