Romanian industry and resources minister Dan Ioan Popescu announced the government’s energy strategy, which allows for $2.3 billion investment in the infrastructure by 2004. However, officials estimate the cost of revamping the sector could reach $4.5 billion.

Prime minister Adrian Nastase said: “If we do not invest in the energy sector now, the costs will be more and more burdening in the coming years.” The strategy stipulates that Cernavoda 2 should be completed by the end of 2004. Nastase said the project was backed by $400 million of financing under discussion with Societe Generale.

The International Monetary Fund, which has a team in Bucharest reviewing a $383 million loan, and the World Bank, due to approve $300 million in credit this month, have put heavy pressure on Romania to tackle energy sector restructuring.