Premier orders progress in construction of floating NPPs
Shipbuilders and nuclear power company Rosenergoatom look set to reach a compromise over the construction of floating nuclear power plants, the mobile units meant to energize Russian Arctic settlements.
The deadlocked construction of Russia’s first floating power station was a key subject during Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to the Baltiisky Yard last week. No settlement of the issue was announced during the visit, but the premier ordered the Ministry of Industry and Trade to get the construction of the unique power generator back on track, a press release states.
A final decision on the issue now “has to be made”, Medvedev stressed, adding that he will “make a decision himself”, if the ministry fails to agree with the contractors, Itar-Tass reports.
The key challenge both for federal nuclear power agency Rosenergoatom and contractor Baltiisky Yard is the price. While the yard and its owners demand an additional 7.7 billion roubles for the job, Rosenergoatom says it will pay no more than 6 billion. With the additional money, the total sum for the plant will grow up to 24 billion RUB, newspaper Vedomosti reports. In addition come costs for development of needed infrastructure at the place of operation.
Despite the high cost, the two parts are still expected to reach a compromise. The price of the station is high, but still far lower than other nuclear powered vessels currently under construction. As reported by BarentsObserver, the new powerful LK-60 icebreaker, also that to be constructed at the Baltiisky Yard, will have a price tag of 37 billion RUB.
Still, with the major construction costs, the floating NPPs will be far more expensive than the other conventional power sources currently applied in the Russian Arctic, analysts say to Kommersant.
The construction of the first NPP, the “Akademik Lomonosov”, was launched in 2006 at the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk, northern Russia, and then in 2008 transferred to the Baltiisky Yard in Sankt Petersburg. The station, which will have a generating capacity of 70 MWh, has been promoted as a key solution to future energy supplies to remote settlements in the Russian Arctic. The “Akademik Lomonosov” was originally to be completed in the course of 2012 and enter service in 2013. However, construction of the floating power generator stalled as the Baltiisky Yard and its owned Sergei Pugachov bankrupted. The federal nuclear power agency Rosatom, the powerful company behind the deal, was left with a 13 billion Ruble disbalance. It is now the United Shipbuilding Corporation, a state-controlled entity, which owns the yard.
The “Akademik Lomonosov” was in 2010 placed at sea in a ceremony at the yard. However, neither the reactor nor turbines, are so far installed at the vessel, which is believed to be about 65 percent finished. The construction of the floating generator is expected to be completed in 2016. The village of Pevek on the Russian eastern Arctic coast is chosen as the destination for the installation, while a second station is planned for the closed military town of Vilyuchinsk at Kamchatka. Earlier, also Severodvinsk was expected to get one of the floating power generators.