Hungary will start calling down a loan of 10 billion euros from the state of Russia to upgrade the Paks nuclear power plant in days, the state secretary for the investment said at the Portfolio Energy Investment Forum conference on Tuesday.
Payments on the first ten invoices submitted by Rosatom, the general contractor for the upgrade, have already started, said Attila Aszódi. The invoices were for a combined 98 million euros, he added. Eighty percent of the invoices will be paid out from an inter-state loan agreement concluded with Russia and the rest from Hungary’s central budget, he said.
János Süli, the minister in charge of the upgrade project, gave the green light to the payment of the invoices on Monday.
Capital of project company Paks II Atomerőmű will be raised at the same time as the first payment is made for the planning of the upgrade, Aszódi said.
The most important basic permits for the construction of two more blocks at the Paks plant have already been acquired, and now work on putting together the applications for the building permits can start, he said. Preparation of the area on which the blocks will be constructed could being early next year, and the blocks could start commercial operation in 2026 and 2027, he added.
Aszódi noted that the payment could only be made now after the upgrade project had overall been cleared by the European Commission.
The commission had scrutinised six areas of the upgrade including state aid and profitability, he said. Concerning state aid, he noted that the EC had seen no scenario for the project making losses.
According to the commission’s estimate, the upgraded plant would operate with a 7.35 percent annual profit margin while a private investor would expect a higher, 7.88 percent, profit margin.
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