Budapest, December 22 (MTI) – Independent international consultants have said that the upgrade of the Paks nuclear power plant is a profitable project, the prime minister’s office told MTI on Tuesday.
In its statement, the office noted that after two years of consultations with the European Commission, on November 23 the European Union’s executive body launched an in-depth investigation into Hungary’s plan to provide financing for the upgrade of the plant to determine whether it involves state aid. This investigation allowed third-party consultants to look into the investment and express their opinions on the project and its adherence to competition laws, the PM’s office said.
The office decided to publish the independent economic assessment prepared by the Rothschild banking house.
The assessment reacts in detail to prior criticism that “misleadingly implied” that the upgrade would not be a worthwhile investment, and concludes that the project would in fact be profitable for Hungary, the office said.
The analysis presents sufficient evidence that the project is not in need of state aid as it is profitable in free market conditions. It says that with an expected increase in electricity prices, the revenue generated by Paks 2 will be enough to offset the project’s costs. The project’s goals are also in line with the goals of the EU’s liberalised energy markets, meaning that it will contribute to improving energy security, meeting climate protection objectives and keeping electricity prices affordable, the office quoted the banking house as saying.
The PM’s office said it has sent the analysis of the banking house to Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner. It also said that the government would publish the full text of the English-language report on both its own website (www.kormany.hu) and the website of the MVM Paks 2 nuclear power station development company.