During the G7 Leaders Summit in Hiroshima this past weekend (20 May), US President Joe Biden announced public-private support for a small modular reactor (SMR) project in Romania from the US, Japan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates of up to 275 million US dollars (255 million euros).
This public-private support package includes a Letter of Interest from the US Export-Import Bank (EXIM) for up to 99 million US dollars (91.8 million euros) from the EXIM Engineering Multiplier Program.
In addition, EXIM and US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) issued Letters of Interest for potential support of up to three billion US dollars (2.7 billion euros) and one billion US dollars (9.27 billion euros), respectively, for project deployment.
The SMR project is being implemented by the Romanian majority state-owned energy company, Nuclearelectrica. The project will replace a former coal plant at Doicesti (south-east Romania), using technology from the US nuclear company, NuScale Power.
“We are proud to position Romania on the strategic development map of nuclear energy projects. It is a merit that Romania has earned through more than 26 years of safe operation at the highest standards of excellence of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, through more than 50 years of development of the nuclear industry in Romania, through the rigour of the CNCAN regulator, through the excellence in nuclear engineering and operation training of the Romanian education system, and through the leadership of the entire Nuclearelectrica team,” said Cosmin Ghita, General Manager of Nuclearelectrica.
“We are proud that Romania will be the second country after the USA and the first in Europe to develop a NuScale VOYGR™ small modular reactor plant and that our project has won the trust and support of the most important financial institutions in the world, as well as of President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, the American Government, as well of the partners in Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Arab Emirates,“ Mr Ghita added.
The partners involved in financing the SMR project in Romania include the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, DS Private Equity Korea, EXIM Bank Romania, Nuclearelectrica, Nova Power & Gas SRL, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, DFC and US EXIM.
Romania is the first country in Europe and the second after the United States to implement NuScale’s technology, consisting of six modules and an installed capacity of 462 megawatts-equivalent (MWe).
RoPower and NuScale are currently carrying out a Front-End Engineering and Design study which includes engineering and design activities and studies, technical analysis of the preferred site (the former Doicești power plant) estimation of the calendar and costs. The announced financial support will support the finalisation of the FEED study.
RoPower is jointly owned by Nuclearelectrica and Nova Power & Gas, a Romanian power, oil & gas and green energy company.