Romania's Nuclearelectrica to end reactor talks with China's CGN

BUCHAREST, May 28 (Reuters) - Romania’s economy ministry has asked state-owned power producer Nuclearelectrica to end negotiations with China General Nuclear (CGN) about the construction of two reactors at its plant on the river Danube, the company said.

Nuclearelectrica has two 706 megawatt reactors, which account for roughly a fifth of Romania’s power production, and wants to add two more.

CGN filed a non-binding bid to partner with Romania in the project in 2014, but negotiations, which included price guarantees, have advanced very slowly.

The firm will make the decision at a shareholders’ meeting on June 12 following the ministry’s request to “initiate the procedures regarding the ceasing of negotiations with CGN, as well as the ceasing of the legal effects,” it said.

Nuclearelectrica’s management will also need to come up with a new strategy over building additional nuclear power capacities.

In 2019, the previous energy minister said negotiations should stop by the end of the year and that Nuclearelectrica could build a single new unit by itself.

Nuclearelectrica had initially planned to build the two reactors in partnership with six European energy firms. Those firms withdrew one by one between 2010 and 2013, feeling the impact of Europe’s then debt crisis.

Western governments have grown increasingly concerned about possible security threats posed by investments made by Chinese firms in their economies, including telecoms and nuclear power.

Meanwhile, CGN is in a partnership with French utility EDF to build Britain’s first new nuclear plant in decades at Hinkley Point in southwest England.

Nuclearelectrica, in which Romania’s energy ministry has an 80% stake, has a market capitalisation of 5.74 billion lei ($1.31 billion). (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; editing by Jason Neely)