Brazil’s nuclear utility Eletronuclear announced on 23 July that a consortium comprising Ferreira Guedes, Matricial and ADtranz had won the tender to complete unit 3 of the Angra NPP in Rio de Janeiro. The tender will mark the resumption of works at the Angra 3 within the framework of Acceleration Plan for the Critical Path of Angra 3, said state-owned power company Eletrobras. The winning bid was BRL292 million ($56.1 million), which Eletronuclear said is 16% lower than the reference value for the project. In total, two companies and five consortia participated in the opening session of the proposals, held on 29 June.

Any of the bidders can appeal against the decision within five working days of 26 July and opposing arguments can be submitted in the five days after that. Electronuclear will then have five days to analyse the documentation. Following the appeal phase, companies that are part of the winning consortium will undergo a compliance assessment, before the process is forwarded to the competent authority for approval. The companies must then sign the contract within 10 working days, after which mobilisation of the Angra 3 construction site will begin to ensure the construction is restarted before the end of the year.

Among the main measures included in the Critical Path Acceleration Plan is completion of the concrete superstructure of the Angra 3 reactor building. In addition, an important part of the electromechanical assembly will be carried out, which includes the closing of the containment steel dome and installation of the used fuel pool, the polar bridge and the semi-gantry crane. Angra 3 is currently 65% complete and Eletronuclear expects the plant to start operating in November 2026.

Eletronuclear in February published in the Official Gazette (Diário Oficial da Uniao), the tender for a company to resume civil works at Angra 3 before hiring a contractor to undertake work to complete the construction of the plant, which is scheduled for the second half of 2022.

Angra 3 was planned in the 1980s but work stopped due to lack of finance. Construction resumed in 2010, but Eletronuclear faced a corruption scandal in 2015 and stopped paying contractors, including French company Areva, which was installing the Siemens-designed reactor technology now owned by Framatome. Angra 3 is 67% complete and 80% of the nuclear reactor equipment has been bought and is being stored, costing Eletronuclear BRL25 million a year on upkeep and insurance for the construction site. This excludes interest payments on BRL10 billion in loans from national development bank BNDES to build Angra 3.

BNDES said in June it had hired a consortium to structure the Angra 3 completion project. Contracting of the Angra Eurobras NES consortium – Tractebel Engineering Ltda, Tractebel Engineering SA and Grouped Entrepreneurs International SA – is part of the technical services that BNDES has been providing Eletronuclear since 2019.

Funds to pay for the work underway at the plant come from the Advance for Future Capital Increase (Afac) approved by Eletrobras in 2020. Eletrobras released BRL1.052 billion to Eletronuclear and for 2021 a further BRL2.447 billion is expected. Also, at the end of June 2020, Eletrobras approved the conversion of Afac contracts into new Eletronuclear shares worth BRL850 million and took other steps aimed at clearing Eletronuclear's debts with Eletrobras. Eletronuclear has also been negotiating the debts owed to BNDES and Caixa Econômica Federal (CEF) due to the financing of Angra 3, which total BRL6.6 billion. The company has been paying BRL30.1 million monthly to BNDES and BRL24.7to Caixa.