China Widens Nuclear Exports With $7.7 Billion Romania Plant

  • China General Nuclear Power to build 2 reactors in Romania
  • Romania has been looking to expand capacity for over decade

State-owned China General Nuclear Power Corp. made an agreement to build two reactors in Romania, continuing China’s push to export nuclear technology abroad.

The memorandum of understanding, signed on Nov. 9 with Romania’s state-owned Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica SA, covers construction and operation of two Chinese-developed reactors at the nation’s Cernavoda nuclear power plant, according to a statement on the Chinese company’s website. The project’s total investment will be about 7.2 billion euros ($7.7 billion) and the two companies will establish a venture, the statement said.

Romania’s entire nuclear fleet consists of two reactors at the Cernavoda atomic station, about 48 kilometers (30 miles) west of the Black Sea. The nation has been seeking to expand capacity at the facility for more than a decade. The original plan to build two additional reactors was abandoned by GDF Suez SA, RWE AG and Iberdrola SA in 2011.

China General Nuclear started to look into Romania’s nuclear power market in September 2010 and reached a primary cooperation agreement in November 2013, according to the statement.

China is vying for wider acceptance for its atomic technology and expertise amid a global call for cleaner energy. State-owned China National Nuclear Corp. last week agreed with Argentina to build the South American country’s fourth plant and started talks on a fifth. Chinese banks agreed to provide 85 percent of the financing for the fourth plant that costs about $6 billion to build.

Last month, Electricite de France SA and China General Nuclear Power Corp. signed an accord to build three new nuclear power stations in the U.K., including the 18 billion pound ($27 billion) Hinkley plant in southwest England.

China plans to export as many as eight domestically designed third-generation nuclear reactors to international markets by 2020, China Daily reported in June.

CGN Power Co., China General Nuclear’s Hong Kong-traded unit, dropped 0.6 percent to HK$3.20 as of 10:51 a.m. local time, compared with a 1.1 percent decline in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.

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