BUCHAREST (Romania), January 29 (SeeNews) - Nuclearelectrica [BSE:SNN], the operator of Romania's sole nuclear power plant (NPP) Cernavoda, should add two new units to the plant in partnership with companies from NATO and EU member countries, rather than with Chinese companies, energy and economy minister Virgil Popescu said.
In May, Nuclearelectrica signed a preliminary investors agreement (PIA) with two Chinese companies for the construction of Units 3 and 4.
"At the moment the project with the Chinese companies has stalled," Popescu said on Tuesday evening in a talk-show aired on local TV station B1 TV. "I would prefer Nuclearelectrica to work with Romania's strategic partners because we are a NATO member and an EU member state, so I would rather work with companies from this area."
Popescu also said that Nuclearelectrica may build on its own one of the planned new units, as it has the necessary know-how and technology.
The preliminary agreement signed with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and CGN Central and Eastern Europe Investment (CEERI) in May envisages the establishment of a project company (JVCO) which will be the only technical and operational platform for the subsequent development of the project. The JVCO is a joint stock company that will exist for at least two years. CGN will have a stake of 51% in the project company, while Nuclearelectrica will have 49%.
The Cernavoda plant, located in southeastern Romania, has two reactors of 700 megawatts each, which meet roughly a fifth of the country's electricity needs.
Nuclearelectrica shares traded 0.13% higher at 14.96 lei ($3.5/3.1 euro) by 1135 CET on Wednesday on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
Romania's energy ministry owns a 82.49% stake in Nuclearelectrica.
(1 euro=4.7787 lei)