Korean company interested in construction works for Cernavoda Units 3 and 4

Newsroom 20/11/2007 | 16:24

At the beginning of this month, Nuclearelectrica announced that it would start negotiations until the end of November with the six companies (Arcelor Mittal Romania, CEZ Czech Republic, Electrabel Belgium, ENEL Italy, Iberdrola Spain and RWE Germany) that expressed their intention to invest for the construction of Cernavoda Units 3 and 4. If negotiations with potential investors are on the right track, the selection of the company in charge with the building works is expected to take place next year. “According to the schedule for the Units 3 and 4 project established by the Romanian government, a new project company will be established next spring. In order to meet the completion schedule of these two units for 2014 and 2015, the preparations for the bidding process for selecting the construction contractor will be implemented after establishing the investors,” Duk-Sang HA, the representative of the Bucharest office of KHNP told Business Review.

According to official data, the history of cooperation between Romania and Korea in the nuclear power field started in the middle of 90's.
“Since 2001, there have been many discussions and talks between both governments and nuclear industries to understand the reasons why both have to cooperate and what will be the benefits to both countries. The most important thing in order to successfully complete the Units 3 and 4 construction project is to obtain the highest competitiveness, reliability and safety which will be required by the future shareholders as well as the Romanian government,” added the KHNP official.
KHNP is an experienced builder. The state owned Korean company has built and currently is operating four units of CANDU (CANada Deuterium Uranium) nuclear units in Korea.
The reactor type and capacity there are the same as the ones at the Cernavoda Units.

Variable costs involved in the project
Romanian officials estimate that the total investment for the building of Units 3 and 4 will reach approximately EUR 2.5 billion, but KHNP representatives say building a CANDU unit involved lots of variables. “We have the CANDU project cost information. There are many variables in calculating the project cost; for example, what project structure will be selected, how much they will use the Romanian manpower and equipment and materials, and also the market prices, and so on,” said Duk-Sang HA.
Regarding the construction period, the Korean official said that KHNP completed the Wolsong Unit 3 CANDU construction project in only 58 months, a period when they performed the overall project management. The CANDU technology comes originally from Canada and the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) was the company that built Units 1 and 2 from Cernavoda.
The KHNP representative said that they worked together with AECL in other projects and the same might happen for Cernavoda Units 3 and 4, but until now no decision was taken.
Korea is one of the countries that continuously developed nuclear power plant projects over the last 30 years.
According to KHNP information, the operating units from Korea have been showing excellent operating performance, meaning, the average capacity factors was 92.3 percent which is 13 percent higher than the world average.
“We built and are currently operating 20 units of nuclear power plants in Korea and are also building six additional units of 6,800MW. Also, we have a long term power development plan to increase the nuclear power to 27,320 MW by 2020. The total investment for the new six units will reach USD 14 billion,” said Duk-Sang HA. Last year, KHNP reported that total assets of the company are worth USD 23 billion and turnover reached USD 6 billion.
KHNP has about 7,500 employees including a Bucharest representative. Regarding the delays in starting the Nuclearelectrica project, Korean officials seem to be optimistic and “hope that the project company will be established by next spring and the project will go further according to the schedule of the Romanian government.”

Dana Ciuraru

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