Romania: Negotiations on new TPP in Rovinari resumed

, SEE Energy News

Romanian Ministry of Energy announced that Romania has officially resumed talks with Chinese Huadian Engineering on the construction of a new 600 MW thermal power plant in Rovinari, within the Energy Complex Oltenia.

After the meeting with the Chinese delegation, Minister of Energy Toma Petcu said that discussion with the Chinese partners had entered a pace that did not seem to advance in the spirit in which the parties agreed. Negotiating teams had the last meeting almost a year ago, therefore he asked both the CEO of Huadian and the Ministry committee to look at the main points where the parties have not yet agreed and to organize this meeting in Bucharest to set an accelerated timetable for negotiations. Minister Petcu added that he wants the negotiations over TPP Rovinari to be completed by the end of this year, so the investment can begin.

Minister Petcu also met with Chinese Ambassador to Romania Xu Feihong and the two officials discussed other energy projects in which the two countries are partners, such as the construction of units 3 and 4 at NPP Cernavoda and the possibility of Chinese involvement in Tarnita hydro project.

Last April, the establishment of joint venture company Huadian Oltenia Energy SA, which will manage the design and the construction of coal-fired thermal power plant Rovinari, was agreed. The construction of 600 MW thermal power plant should begin after obtaining all the required certificates and authorizations and it should last for 36 months. The newly built TPP will replace existing capacities in Romanian energy system, which are no longer reliable and has obsolete technology. It will consume about 4.6 million tons of coal per year, thus ensuring about 3,000 jobs.

The establishment of the joint venture company between Energy Complex (EC) Oltenia and the Chinese partner was initially announced by the Ministry of Energy in 2014. The joint venture company should apply for a loan in the amount of 574 million euros, which is two-thirds of the amount necessary for the construction of the plant (847.6 million euros). The Chinese partners’ initial cash contribution has been set in principle to at least 30 % of the total capital needed for the investment. The Chinese will hold 91.06 % of the stake in joint venture company, while EC Oltenia will have the remaining 8.94 %.

The project envisages construction of the new unit at TPP Rovinari. TPP Rovinari has 1,320 MW of operational capacity, with operational units 3,4,5 and 6 which were put in service between 1976 and 1979. Installed capacity of the plant is 1,720 MW and two 200 MW units should be decommissioned in order to prepare site for the construction of the future 600 MW unit. The construction of the new unit was supposed to start in 2013 and to be completed in five-year period.