2018-04-04

Why Rosatom fails to find investors for Akkuyu NPP?


The presidents of Russia and Turkey launched the construction of the first Akkuyu nuclear power plant in the country. However, Rosatom's expenses and concluded contracts have already exceeded the amount invested.

The first nuclear power plant in Turkey will be launched in 2023 (as planned), creating new jobs both in Russia and Turkey, the Russian leader said, Interfax reports . Vladimir Putin promised "to do everything to be present at the beginning of the work of this nuclear power plant." "Russian partners plan to actively involve Turkish small and medium-sized businesses in construction. We intend to place in Turkey a significant part of the orders necessary for the future station, "Putin said. According to him, 350 Turkish companies have applied for participation in the construction of the nuclear power plant.

In his turn, the Turkish president called the beginning of construction Akkuyu "a historic moment," Anadolu reports . Erdogan stressed that with the output to full capacity, the nuclear power plant will meet 10% of Turkey's electricity needs, reducing dependence on gas and coal. According to the plan, Akkuyu should issue 35 billion kW / h of electricity per year at the stage of commissioning of all power units. Moscow and Ankara concluded an intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant with VVER-1200 reactors in the Mersin province on the Mediterranean coast in May 2010. The Kremlin estimated the total investment in the project at $ 22 billion.

For Russia, this project has an important geopolitical significance, but it was hampered by foreign policy tensions between Russia and Turkey, and Turkish legislation, which prohibited the construction of industrial facilities near olive groves. The Turkish Atomic Energy Agency issued a license for the construction of the first Akkuyu block only on the night of April 3, recognizing that the Rosatom project meets all the necessary requirements. According to the plans of Rosatom, the Akkuyu nuclear power plant is built according to the BOO (English build-own-operate) scheme, that is, the Russian state corporation acts as the main investor and co-owner of the new station, covering its expenses with revenues from the following sale of electricity.

To implement the project in December 2010, a project company Akkuyu Nuklear was established, 51% of which belongs to the Russian state corporation, and 49% was supposed to be sold to the Turkish partner. According to two RBC sources familiar with the project financing scheme, initially it was planned that the total share capital of the company would be about $ 5.6 billion. It was supposed to be divided by Rosatom with the partner proportionally to the shares ($ 2.9 corresponds to 51% of Rosatom and $ 2, 7 billion - partner's share). In accordance with this plan, 119 billion rubles. ($ 2.1 billion at the current rate) was provided from the Russian budget and about $ 100 million was allocated by Rosatom itself together with Inter RAO. The order of the figures in the conversion from rubles to dollars differs due to a sharp jump in the ruble exchange rate at the time of transferring one of the tranches at the end of 2014, one of the interlocutors of RBC specified. The remaining funds required for commissioning the first and second units were planned to be attracted from commercial banks and through export credit for equipment supplied from Europe. The commissioning of the first and second units was to ensure the self-financing of the construction of two more nuclear power units; the involvement of additional state funds was not expected.

When in November 2015 the Turkish Air Force shot down the Russian Su-24, all of Russia's investment projects in the country were frozen, but the project company was not shut down. "If the Russians do not build the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, somebody else will come and build it," Erdogan said in 2015. " At that time, according to the newspaper Hurriyet, Russia has already invested $ 3 billion in the construction of nuclear power plants. The funds received by the project company were spent in the framework of construction contracts and contracts for the supply of equipment, a source close to Akkuyu Nuklear told the newspaper.

At the same time Akkuyu Nuklear continued to search for investors for the project and reached an agreement with the private Turkish company Cengiz. Then Kolin and Kalyon joined the company. The agreement with three companies was signed by Rosatom on June 19, 2017. But in February 2018 it became known that the deal with this consortium was disrupted. According to the source of RBC, the reason for this was the reluctance of Rosatom to see the Chinese company as the technical consultant for Kolin and Kalyon. In addition, the state corporation did not agree with the Cengiz conditions to participate in the management of the budget before the actual receipt of all tranches into the capital of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. As a result, Cengiz remained the contractor of the project only under the contract for construction of hydraulic structures for $ 465 million.

After the failure of the deal, Rosatom repeatedly stated that other investors are interested in participating in the project, but recently the head of state corporation Alexei Likhachev announced that the sale of 49% to the investors in the Akkuyu nuclear power plant project in Turkey for 2019 will be postponed. A Rosatom spokesman declined to comment on the amount of cash remaining at the moment on the account of the project company. He also did not answer the question of RBC, how the financing scheme has changed and whether it is planned to allocate additional funds from the budget for the project. The representative of the state corporation said only that Rosatom continues to finance the project in full to ensure all works in accordance with the schedule.

According to Interfax, Atomstroyexport (part of Rosatom) received Akkuyu Nuclear contract for the construction of facilities for the nuclear island of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant at a cost of $ 2.915 billion, and Atomenergomash signed a contract for the delivery of the main equipment of the turbine unit of the power units for € 1.341 billion Thus, the volume of contracts already concluded exceeded the amount of funds provided by the Russian side. This requires attracting additional funding - a joint stock (on the Russian or other side) or borrowed, says Natalia Porokhova, head of the research and forecasting group of the Russian rating agency ACRA. $ 2.7 billion, which Rosatom planned to attract through a partnership, is quite a tangible amount, she says. According to Porokhova, based on the financial statements of Atomenergoprom, Rosatom's cash flow is negative, as the company conducts active investment activities in Russia, in particular, building the second unit of Leningrad NPP-2, the second block of Novovoronezh NPP-2.

Author: Svetlana Burmistrova.

https://www.rbc.ru/economics/03/04/2018/5ac387ee9a79472a4f288a66

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