Negotiations with China for the Rovinari thermal power station are advanced
The negotiations with the Chinese part for the construction of a new thermal power station in Rovinari are very advanced, the representatives of the investors will visit Romania in the near future, the vicepremier Liviu Dragnea said at the end of the visit to China.
The construction of the Rovinari thermal power station with a new energy group of 500 MW was enclosed in the summer of last year in the National Plan of investments of the government, presenting the China Huadian Engineering would ensure an investment of almost one billion dollars. In November, the leadership of the Oltenia Energy complex signed with the chairman of the company China Huadian Corporation an agreement of intention of cooperation for the achievement of the thermal electrical project in Rovinari.
On Tuesday, Dragnea resumed the fact that the Romanian authorities intend to build in Rovinari a new thermal power station of 500 MW with double yield. “ With the same quantity of coal, you get a double quantity of energy and what is very important, they observe the environment norms’ Dragnea said.
Five days ago, Greenpeace Romania and a representative in Vienne of the ecologist organisation measured in Rovinari the degree of pollution near the thermal power station and the results showed an excessive quantity of pollutants in the air.
The Oltenia energy complex said,by its representative Elena Zamfir that they invested in desulphurisation and modernisation of the installations in the past in order to decrease the degree of pollution of the air.The spokesperson said that from the point of view of CE Oltenia the measurements made by Greenpeace Romania were influenced by the placement of the measurement units at 30 metres from a road in the city. Zamfir says that the energy groups of the Rovinari thermal power station are all modernised, with depolluting installations with dust emissions under 20mg/Nmc while the legal limit is 50mg/Nmc.
At the end of the visit, Dragnea referred to the hydropower project in Tarnita-Lapustesti, evaluated at over 1.1 billion euro, saying that almost all the companies under discussions were interested, which is good for Romania as there is ‘ competition’.
In November, the manager of the project company for the hydropower station in Tarnita-Lapustesti (Cluj county) signed a letter of confort with the vicechairman of Sinohydro Corporation.
A Chinese delegation will come to Bucharest on Wednesday for 'a final discussion' in preparation of the signing of the necessary documents for the construction of the Rovinari-based energy group (Gorj County, southern Romania), Vice Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea announced in Beijing at the end of the meeting with his Chinese counterpart Zhang Gaoli. According to Dragnea, energy was at the focus of the talks of the two officials.
'Mr. Vice Premier [Zhang Gaoli] expressed China's major interest in having the projects discussed so far with the Chinese party carried out: Cernavoda Reactors 3 and 4 (southeastern Romania), a project which is in a quite advanced stage; building the Rovinari-based 500 MW energy group, and here again we are close to the final lap, as a Chinese delegation will come to Romania on Wednesday for the final discussions before the documents are signed,' said Dragnea.
According to the Romanian official, also discussed at the meeting were projects related to the two hydropower plants at Tarnita Lapustesti (Cluj County, center-west) and Turnu Magurele - Nikopol (south), but also the upgrading of the Mintia Deva thermal power station (west).
'As far as hydropower capacities are concerned, the Chinese Government expressed interest in the two major projects of ours: Tarnita Lapustesti and the Turnu Magurele - Nikopol hydropower plant we are building with our Bulgarian partners. We jointly agreed that the discussions are advanced, we also determined which are the small hindrances we still need to sort out, to remove, and possibilities also exist regarding the funding of these projects and for the Romanian side to provide guarantees - not necessarily financial guarantees - so that the Chinese investors be assured that the projects are feasible and profitable too,' said Dragnea.
Asked what the guarantees could consist of, Dragnea replied: 'Following talks, it became clear to everyone that we cannot expect the Government of Romania to issue sovereign guarantees because we have ongoing agreements with the IMF, the European Commission, the World Bank. (...) We are working hard, not just as of recently, but for quite some time now, to identify alternative solutions. And we are discussing here about the guarantees the companies involved in the project can also provide, bank guarantees that could also involve investment funds. We are following with interest the completion of the negotiations the UK is having with the European Commission on a mechanism to guarantee the price difference, we are seeking solutions to enable large-size energy investors to sign long-term contracts with large users of electricity (...). A serious package of guarantees is gradually taking shape in such a way that any investor who contemplates allocating billions of dollars or euros for an energy investment project has a minimum guarantee that once the investment is completed, the energy produced by that facility is sold for a price that guarantees the recovery of the investment and a minimum profit.'
Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea said on Friday, in Shenzhen, China, that the Government might decide to extend the deadline of the letter of intent the company CGN (China General Nuclear Power Group) has with Nuclearelectrica, for reasons that it has with Nuclearelectrica the negotiations between the Chinese company and the Romanian side in full swing of development and refer to 'the largest investment project' of the Ponta Government.
'It is actually the largest investment project that Victor Ponta Government has as its aim. They talked about the stage of the negotiations between this company and the institutions in Romania, namely Nulearelectrica, Energonuclear, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance. Important steps were made when it comes to a mechanism, a package guaranteeing this investment. ... The Chinese company had a letter of intent that is valid till May 25. We agreed together that it is worth our thinking seriously of extending this deadline of May 25 as talks with our European partners are needed and, in the end, it is important that we should carry this aim through,' said Dragnea at the end of the talks with the CGN officials.
According to Dragnea, the deadline of the letter of intent might be extended till the end of the year.
The Romanian Deputy Prime Minister added that this project 'can ensure, when it is finalized, almost the fifth part of the energy necessary for our country.' Dragnea added that the negotiations with the CGN would continue in April in Bucharest and Premier Victor Ponta was to decide who will coordinate the operational group to deal with this project.
'We agreed together that they should create a compact integrated group in Romania, in which all ministries with competences in the field should be involved so that very efficient negotiations should be held, so that everybody should be at the same table. I shall tell this to the Prime Minister and Victor Ponta will decide which of the ministries in question - Economy, Energy or Finance - will be the ones to coordinate this group operationally,' said the Deputy Prime Minister.
In this context the officials of the Chinese company were informed of the memorandum approved by the Government this week for stimulating the investments in energy amounting to over one billion euros.
'The memorandum establishes two important things: drawing up a legislating that should create fiscal incentives for the investments amounting to over one billion euros in energy, on the one hand; on the other hand, the creation of a mechanism, according to the English model, if Great Britain ends the negotiations with the European Commission. This was also one of the reasons for which we agreed to think seriously of extending the deadline of May 25, which nevertheless is not very far away,' said the Deputy Prime Minister.
Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea is paying a working visit to China over March 20-26 and has high-level meetings with Chinese officials to examine the stage of the implementation of the agreements signed in November last year during the visit paid to Bucharest by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.