Budapest, February 1 (MTI) – Russia’s Rosatom expects the European Commission to clear the upgrade of Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plan soon, allowing construction to start in 2018 as planned, CEO Alexey Likhachev said in an interview published in Wednesday’s issue of Magyar Idők.
Asked whether it was realistic to expect to begin building the two new blocks in 2018, Likhachev acknowledged the date as the planned start of construction.
“At present, the project is in the preparatory stage. It has got the first-degree environmental permit and our partners have turned to the Hungarian nuclear authority with a request for a site permit. We trust that approval will soon come from the European Commission regarding the last procedure and we can start the active implementation of the project,” he told the paper.
Likhachev said it was “still too early” to speak about concrete dates for calling tenders for the project’s non-nuclear elements.
“We are paying special attention to cooperation with suppliers. In the course of the project’s implementation, tenders for the procurement of equipment and services will be called in an open and transparent manner, fully in line with European Union rules,” he said.
He added that Hungarian companies’ contribution could reach 40 percent as stipulated in the contract for the project.
Rosatom is the general contractor for the Paks upgrade which is being financed with a loan from the state of Russia.
Likhachev will arrive in Hungary later on Wednesday for talks with government officials, ahead of a visit to Budapest on Thursday by Russian President Vladimir Putin.