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[cdn-nucl-l] Director General of "Atomstroyexport" press-conference
There are interesting thoughts at this interview.
I wonder do ÀÂÂ and Westinghouse know that they "don’t have up-to-date
designs, which they could offer with chances to win the tender...", as in
view of Mr. Kozlov.
V. Kozlov: “Don’t think that one wins who was the first to praise himself.”
Late March JSC Atomstroyexport submitted its offer to tender construction of
the fifth Finnish nuclear unit and preliminary bid to complete construction
of Belene NPP in Bulgaria. Today, Russia is known to construct five nuclear
power units in India, Iran and China and JSC Atomstroyexport is the general
contractor for nuclear facilities construction abroad. Viktor Kozlov, the
company’s Director General, gave an exclusive interview to Nuclear.Ru.
Nuclear.Ru: According to mass media, the Finnish tender is participated by
three companies. Now when offers have been submitted, what is your idea of
the current line-up?
V. Kozlov: I don’t know how many companies participate because the Finnish
consumer announced to mass media that it wouldn’t disclose who participates.
I may only say that Atomstroyexport is certainly participating – we
submitted our offer – and Framatome ANP who publicly announced that as well.
I believe that Atomstroyexport has very good chances to win.
Nuclear.Ru: In its press release Framatome ANP essentially claimed the same
as to its chances…
V. Kozlov: French have not worked in Finland while we built NPP Loviisa
there, which has been in operation for more than 20 years already and is on
the list of 20 top world n-plants over all indicators including safety and
operating capabilities. This works for us. Then the design we have proposed
to implement in Finland is coming into being in China where we construct an
identical nuclear power plant. French also construct in China but the
Chinese think the Russian design is better. First of all, it is a perfected,
more up-to-date design where safety issues solved at a higher level.
Therefore, speaking about our chances to win I proceed from the fact that
the nuclear facility we built in Finland has been performing successfully
for more than 25 year and that the design we offer today is becoming in
China thought better than the French one by the customer.
Nuclear.Ru: Why, in your view, ÀÂÂ and Westinghouse refused to compete?
V. Kozlov: In my view, they don’t have up-to-date designs they could offer
with chances to win the tender. In other words, they refused because of poor
Nuclear.Ru: The tender is run for separate nuclear plant constituents
(“nuclear island”, turbine hall, infrastructure). Is it recommended to
combine designs by different companies in terms of technology and
V. Kozlov: In fact, it is feasible. It may well be true that Finns order the
“nuclear island” from one company and the turbine hall from another. They
are compatible in terms of technology. Costs are for the customer to decide
upon. They will determine it considering all indicators including the
economic reason. Atomstroyexport has submitted an application for both the
complete nuclear plant and the “nuclear island”.
Nuclear.Ru: Does the tender include a possible construction credit
condition? Or the fifth Finnish unit is to be financed by the Finnish side?
V. Kozlov: It doesn’t. The credit is not foreseen. The tender conditions say
that the Finnish side will be paying for work done.
Nuclear.Ru: When will the tender results be announced?
V. Kozlov: TVO plans to make a decision by the end of year – announce the
winner and sign the construction contract. There will be technical
consultations of experts during the year with the Finnish side clarifying
certain aspects of the submitted documents.
Nuclear.Ru: Recently, one more tender has been called for – NPP Belene
construction in Bulgaria. Please, explain on when and how it will proceed.
V. Kozlov: It’s not a matter of tender yet. Bulgaria requested preliminary
documentation from the interested companies, because the country’s
government had made a decision to consider the issue of possible N-plant
construction. It’s an important step. The Bulgarian side has to receive
proposals from possible vendors and analyze them before it makes the
construction decision. Finland has made such decision and now tendering. The
Finns cannot just annul it stating that they are not going to construct the
NPP. This will bring about a whole bunch of economic consequences, for the
companies have spent significant funds to prepare their offers. In Bulgaria
they are just studying a possibility to construct. Just as an example, the
Finnish tender documents we had submitted weighted 1,200 kilograms, Bulgaria
received just several files.
Nuclear.Ru: Do you think the Russian design would have a priori a bargaining
chip because it were we who started construction of NPP Belene in Bulgaria?
V. Kozlov: I don’t think so, however, we have built six nuclear power units.
All in all, only Russia-designed units operate in Bulgaria. They perform
well producing more than 50% of country’s electricity. As regards NPP
Belene, its construction started some 15 years ago and certain money has
been spent. Still, today this issue must be looked at anew. Fifteen years is
a long time. Today’s requirements to nuclear power are more rigorous,
therefore the Bulgarian side will review the proposed projects in terms of
environmental impact, economy, and the like. I think, it cannot be said that
we a priori will continue the construction. There should be a serious study.
But I believe that we have chances because, firstly, we built nuclear
facilities in Bulgaria and they perform well and, secondly, we propose, to
our mind, the most up-to-date design.
Nuclear.Ru: What about participation of the Czech Skoda, how it may look
like? Do they really have reactor technologies of their own? Or the
Bulgarian tender is also to be carried out separately in terms of
V. Kozlov: Today’s Skoda is the manufacturer without orders. In the past,
under the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) there was a broad
cooperation. All Comecon countries were manufacturing certain equipment for
nuclear power plants. Czechoslovakia produced reactor installations. The
plant was built to this end and it still exists. I’m not certain but I think
that the plant can offer to vendor a reactor pressure vessel. Still, the
Finnish example shows that only few can offer a complete nuclear power
plant. If there were 10 companies in the world capable of offering and
winning the tender, all ten would participate. Today it’s clear that there
are two companies. No one knows whether General Electric has submitted its
offer or not.
Nuclear.Ru: Framatome ANP issued a large press release shortly after
submitting its offer to describe the technologies and advantages of the
offer. This means the company is active in lobbing itself. Does
Atomstroyexport approach it differently?
V. Kozlov: Nothing is different. Yesterday, mass media released my interview
where I conveyed nearly the same as the French did in their media report. I
think that shortly we will issue a more detailed press release. Don’t think
that one wins who was the first to praise himself. In any case, I believe we
have good chances to win in Finland.