Hungary: GE lobbies for NPP Paks2 turbine supply contract

, SEE Energy News

Commercial Director at General Electric (GE) Steam Power Systems Michael Keroulle said that the company could be considered as a favorite for winning a contract on the supply of turbines for the project of the expansion of Hungarian sole nuclear power plant Paks.

Keroulle explained that the construction of the turbines island should cost some 3 billion euros, while turbines, generators and other equipment would cost additional one billion euros. The cost of NPP Paks expansion project is estimated between 10 and 12 billion euros. He added that GE Steam Power System is already supplying turbines for nuclear power plant in Finland which is of a similar design to NPP Paks and is being built by the same contractor – Russian company Rosatom.

In early 2016, Vice Chairman of GE John G. Rice said that the company is considering participation in the project for the expansion of Hungarian sole nuclear power plant Paks as a supplier, noting that export is accounted for 99 % of the revenues of GE Magyarorszag in 2014, which has some 10,000 employees and plans to expand its business in Hungary.

On 14 January 2014, Hungarian government has signed deal with Russia`s atomic energy corporation – Rosatom, with a goal to increase output of the power plant, from current 2,000 MW to 4,400 MW by adding two more reactors. Under the agreement, Russia will provide 10 billion euros loan for the construction of new unit in existing NPP, which is around 80% of estimated construction cost. First unit is expected to become operational in 2023. However, In mid-January the European Commission released a report in which it states that Hungary has failed to provide sufficient information to support its argument that the agreement for the expansion of NPP Paks will not provide the company unfair economic advantage. The PM’s Office reiterated that stand of the Hungarian Government is that the project for the expansion of NPP Paks is competitive and expects that the investment will be returned through increased revenues of the company, so it does not constitute as state aid.

After a series of talks between the Hungarian Government and the European Commission regarding the project for NPP Paks expansion, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union Maros Sefcovic said in September that Hungary and Brussels are close to settling every outstanding issue with a positive outcome. He said that if Hungary decides to build this nuclear power plant, which is in full accordance with the right of every EU member state to decide on their energy mix, it will be able to do it in accordance with the EU law.