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JV partners quit Romanian nuclear project after Chinese firm joins

8 January 2014 | 0 Comments

8 January 2014

Two energy firms have pulled out of building two nuclear reactors in Romania a month after a Chinese company entered the deal.

Italy’s utility firm Enel and steelmaker ArcelorMittal are selling their stakes the project to expand the nuclear plant in Cernavoda, news agency AFP reports.

Enel and ArcelorMittal own 9.15% and 6.2% respectively of the EnergoNuclear project.

ArcelorMittal said it was no longer interested in the scheme, costed more than $5.4 billion.

The announcement came a month after Romanian energy minister Constantin Nita said China General Nuclear Power Corporation plans to invest in the construction of two new reactors at the Cernavoda plant alongside Canada’s SNC-Lavalin.

The Cernavoda nuclear plant (Wikimedia Commons) will be expanded with the addition of two nuclear reactors

“A consortium has already been set up by Lavalin and the Chinese company,” Mr Nita said during a visit by Chinese premier Li Keqiang in Bucharest.

Romania and China signed two nuclear cooperation agreements during Mr Li’s visit but their content was not made public.

Romania has been looking for private investors to finance the extension of Cernavoda since four shareholders of the project company, including CEZ (Czech Republic), RWE (Germany) and GDF Suez (France), pulled out in 2011, complaining of a lack of predictability in Romanian policy.