Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), a South Korean state-owned company, signed a consortium agreement with Canadian and Italian companies on Thursday for a reactor refurbishment project at Romania’s only nuclear power plant in Cernavodă.
The partnership will bring KHNP, Italy’s Ansaldo Nucleare S.p.A and Canada’s Candu Energy owned by SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (TSX: ATRL) one step closer to securing a deal valued at US$1.87 billion for the refurbishment of the plant’s outdated unit 1 reactor that has been operating since 1996.
The signing of the consortium agreement was held in Romania’s capital city Bucharest at the headquarters of the country’s nuclear company Nuclearelectrica.
The reactor’s 30-year license will be expiring in 2026 and Nuclearelectrica aims to start replacing essential components starting in 2027 after renewing the license for another three decades.
“The three companies seek to sign a contract with the Romanian entity within the first half of next year,” KHNP told Korean media.
The Romanian nuclear reactor uses CANDU technology developed by the nuclear energy corporation Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, which licensed the design to Candu Energy in 2011 when the subsidiary was created.
According to Korean media, Candu and Ansaldo will be in charge of engineering and procurement work as original designers of the reactor while KHNP will be responsible for construction of a radioactive waste storage and other amenities at the facility.
Canada and Romania also signed a $3 billion deal last month to build an additional two CANDU reactors at the Cernavodă plant as the Eastern European nation aims to reduce its reliance on Russian energy amid the situation in Ukraine.
Ontario is a world leader in the production of reliable, affordable and clean nuclear power.
Great to join Minister @JonathanWNV and Romanian Energy Minister Sebastian Burduja to talk about how Ontario and Canada will support the expansion of nuclear power in Romania. pic.twitter.com/UELxXWAt1J
— Todd Smith (@ToddSmithPC) September 19, 2023
Following Romania’s first nuclear reactor being powered up in 1996, an additional reactor was brought online in 2007 at the plant. Only two reactors are currently online in the nation at Cernavodă.
Last month, SNC Lavalin changed its name to AtkinsRéalis. The company’s shares have steadily risen by over 75 per cent since January and are currently trading for $43.52 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.