Budapest, January 21 (MTI) – There is no indication that the Russian partner in the upgrade of Hungary Paks nuclear power plant intends to withdraw from financing the project in south-central Hungary, the government commissioner in charge said on Thursday.
Attila Aszodi told the press that daily contact is maintained with the Russian partner and preparations were progressing in lock step. There is no indication the Russians will not want to carry out their end of the bargain or would be unable to finance it, he added.
In response to a question about the European Commission’s recommendation that no payments should be made while an investigation of the project’s financing is under way, he said Hungary was acting fully in line with European laws and fulfilling the EC’s request. No payments have been made to Russia so far despite all the work that the Russian side has put into preparations, he added.
Aszodi insisted that no state support was involved in the project and neither is there a need for it because the investment is expected to yield a return under market conditions.
He noted that the EC official gazette published on Jan. 12 a summary of the commission’s position about an investigation into possible state financing in the Paks II project. This marked the start of a month-long consultation period.
Hungary’s position is that the Paks investment project will not distort the competition and a study by the international Rothschild banking house has confirmed this, Aszodi said.
The EC might prescribe certain conditions that must be met, but Hungary will definitely carry out the project, he added.
The suppliers for the Paks project will be selected by the Russian partner through a tender, Aszodi told public news channel M1 on Thursday. The suppliers of turbines, control technology and various components and systems will be chosen through tender and not the technology itself, he added.
Hungary’s interest is that it should buy a safe and well-performing power station to serve as the main pillar of electricity supply over 60 years. The selection of the right turbine is of key importance because it will influence the efficiency of the power station. Hungary will welcome the submission of bids by Siemens, Alstom or GE because if these companies compete in engineering and technical terms then the best solution can be chosen, Aszodi said.
The Russian side will select the subcontractors and sign deals with them, including for the turbine. In line with the Russian-Hungarian intergovernmental contract, Russia will involve at least 40 percent of the project companies active in Hungary, he said.