Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (OAH) has granted construction licenses for two new units at the country’s sole nuclear power plant Paks, which are being built by Russian state-owned nuclear energy company Rosatom.
NPP Paks was commissioned in 1982, it has four 500 MW Soviet VVER-440 reactors and covers some 40 % of Hungary’s electricity consumption. In December 2014, Russia and Hungary signed the contract for the construction of two new 1,200 MW units at NPP Paks, According to the original schedule, construction was to begin in 2018 for the first unit to be completed in 2025.
Despite significant delays, the contract awarded without a tender to Rosatom is given as an example of the close ties between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Initially, the project was delayed by a long evaluation procedure carried out by the European Commission and focused on the method of financing.
Russian nuclear energy companies are not targeted by Western sanctions.
According to the agreement signed in 2014 between Moscow and Budapest, for the financing of the project to be carried out by the Russian company Rosatom, Hungary will receive Russian loan worth 10 billion euros, which will be returned by the state until 2046, with an annual interest rate between 3.9 and 4.9 %.