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Romania, China ink nuclear cooperation agreements

25 November 2013, 18:09 CET
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(BUCHAREST) - Romania and China on Monday signed two nuclear cooperation agreements expected to give China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) a role in Romania's sole Cernavoda plant as it builds extra reactors.

The two agreements, including a letter of intent between Romania's Nuclearelectrica company and CGN, were signed in the presence of the Romanian and Chinese premiers, Victor Ponta and Li Keqiang.

Government and Nuclearelectrica officials declined to answer AFP questions on the content of the agreements.

Romanian authorities announced in October 2012 that CGN was interested in the construction of two new reactors at Romania's nuclear plant in Cernavoda (south-east), a project estimated to cost more than four billion euros ($5.4 billion).

The two delegations signed a total of 13 agreements Monday, including on conventional and renewable energy and agriculture.

"As far as the European Union's rules of competition are concerned, Romania will certainly observe them," Ponta said.

"But today, under conditions of equal, European competition, there are numerous fields where the Chinese companies' bids are better from a technical and financial point of view.

"So I assured the (Chinese) prime minister that, if a Chinese company's bid is better, it will be declared the winner," he added.

Romania has been looking for private investors to finance the extension of Cernavoda since four shareholders of the project comany, including CEZ (Czech Republic) and GDF Suez (France), pulled out in 2011, complaining of a lack of predictability.

Two reactors, using the CANDU technology, are currently operating at Cernavoda, providing about 17 percent of the country's electricity.

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