Candu Energy to cooperate with Chinese firm on Romanian reactors

BUCHAREST, July 25 Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:44am EDT

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BUCHAREST, July 25 (Reuters) - Canada's Candu Energy said on Friday it will help China Nuclear Power Engineering Company (CNPEC) build two nuclear reactors in European Union state Romania if and when the Chinese firm decides to invest there.

Romania's state-owned nuclear power producer Nuclearelectrica and CNPEC signed a letter of intent for investment and development of two reactors late last year and are currently negotiating, but no final investment decision has been made.

Nuclearelectrica already has two 706 megawatt reactors on the river Danube that use Candu technology, and plans to add two more units.

Candu Energy, owned by SNC Lavalin Group, signed a "binding and exclusive cooperation agreement" with CNPEC to provide the technology for the future reactors when a final investment decision is made, a spokeswoman for the firm said.

"Candu Energy looks forward to working with CNPEC to meet Romania's growing nuclear energy requirements," Candu Chief Executive Preston Swafford said in a statement on Friday.

Nuclearelectrica had initially planned to build the reactors, estimated to cost roughly 6 billion euros ($8 billion), in partnership with six European energy firms, which later withdrew from the project.

Nuclearelectrica's existing two reactors were connected to the national grid in 1996 and 2007, respectively. They account for roughly a fifth of the country's power production. ($1 = 0.7442 Euros) (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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