Hungary: Gov talks with EC in Brussels over NPP Paks expansion in progress

, SEE Energy News

The Chief of the Cabinet of the Hungarian Gov-ernment Janos Lazar is very optimistic ahead of the discussion with the European Commission (EC) officials tomorrow in Brussels regarding the project for the expansion of the country’s sole nuclear power plant Paks.

On 14 January 2014, Hungarian government has signed deal with Russia`s atomic energy corpora-tion 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 construc-tion cost. First unit is expected to become opera-tional in 2023.

In mid-January 2016, the European Commission released a report in which it states that Hungary has failed to provide sufficient information to sup-port its argument that the agreement for the ex-pansion of NPP Paks will not provide the company unfair economic advantage. The PM’s Office reit-erated 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.

Lazar explained that the questions asked by the EC are being addressed, but the hands of the Hungarian Government are literally tied due to contracts signed in the past decades, according to which only Russian technology may be used for the construction of nucler power plants in Hunga-ry. He added that the EC also requested that new reactors should not be operated by state-owned MVM, and the Government is ready to agree to that and make other concessions as well.

Lazar concluded that the right solution for the project for NPP Paks expansion must be accepta-ble for Brussels and meet the requirement of Hun-garian energy security as well, transmits

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