Power market developments / New-build

Russia's new nuclear face

3 December 2012

In March 2012, Atomenergoproject (NIAEP) and Atomstroyexport (ASE), two major Russian nuclear power plant development companies, merged. The development is likely to have big advantages for the country’s nuclear export plans, as illustrated by its new-build project in Turkey.

JSC NIAEP was established in 1951, and functioned as a design institute, designing eight nuclear power plants and 24 thermal power plants. In 2007 it was transformed into an engineering company to design, deliver and construct power plants on a turnkey basis. JSC ASE was founded in 1998 by the merger of VO Atomenergoexport and VP Zarubezhatomenergostroy, and has engaged in nuclear power plant construction, upgrading and renovation projects.

In November 2011 Rosatom management resolved to integrate the two companies based on their synergies of advanced NPP construction management used in particular at Kalinin 4, on one hand, and geographical scope and breadth on the other. In March 2012 ASE was absorbed into NIAEP to form JSC NIAEP-ASE. The new company is headed by director Valery Limarenko. Four thousand people now work for the merged company (7000 with subsidiaries). NPP construction project management operations are split between NIAEP branches in Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow, and St. Petersburg; there is also a design institute in Nizhny Novgorod. Representatives are located in 10 countries in Europe and Asia.

In a prepared Rosatom statement, Limarenko said that the staff had overcome their uneasiness about the merger: “We have come to a common denominator and to mutual understanding. Our key employees are professionals of the highest qualification. The formula of success is as follows: teamwork, patience and commitment to the profession.”

In addition, a new body, Rusatom Overseas, was established in August 2011 to promote and coordinate the company’s international marketing operations. It deals with pre-tender communications with clients, and leads project teams, and takes part in client negotiations. At the NPP construction stage, ASE-NIAEP becomes responsible for implementing the project.

Much of these changes appear to be designed to provide a comprehensive service for national customers that are new to nuclear power. A Rosatom statement about the role of Rusatom in its operations from mid-2012 said:

“The bulk of demand for NPP construction is moving to newly developing countries, for whom nuclear power is really the only true solution that can cover their energy deficit in the long-term...To maintain a competitive position in new markets, it is essential not only to have the latest technological solutions meeting all global standards for safety and energy efficiency, but also the ability to offer individually-tailored, integrated solutions for each project, including working together to develop national legislation, nuclear infrastructure, and preparation and training of personnel. An important factor for success is providing localisation of equipment manufacture. Projects also often require financial solutions, including assistance in financing the project.”

Author Info:

This article first appeared in the November 2012 issue of Nuclear Engineering International magazine.

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