On the occasion of United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP27), Nuclearelecrica’s SMR project company (RoPower) and Donalam (part of AFV Beltrame Group) sign MoU for SMRs deployment in Romania and join the UN Coalition for 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy
Bucharest, November 15th, 2022
SN Nuclearelectrica SA, the only nuclear producer in Romania and a strategic contributor to Romania’s energy security and deep decarbonization, announces the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between RoPower Nuclear SA, the recently established project company for the deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMR), and Donalam SRL, part of AFV Beltrame Group, leading European steel producer, at the IAEA Atoms for Climate Pavilion within COP 27.
The objective of the MoU is to explore the cooperation and investment opportunities in support of the development of the first SMR Project in Romania, which could have a great impact also in achieving the production of green steel in Romania. On the same occasion, the two companies have joined the United Nations 24/7 Carbon Free Energy Compact (CEC), committing to the UN 24/7 principles in support of UN’s goal to accelerate electricity system, mitigate climate change and ensure access to clean affordable energy.
By joining the UN’s 24/7 Carbon-free Energy Compact, Nuclearelectrica and AFV Beltrame become members of a global community of organizations collaborating to develop solutions that enables access to 24/7 carbon-free energy.
The announcement comes at a pivotal time as senior government policymakers from around the world meet at COP27 to discuss the urgency of accelerating the clean energy transition.
The recent report published by United Nations on Emissions Gap in 2022 shows that current policies are not sufficient to reach Paris Agreement targets. Nuclear energy is needed to ensure effective and sustainable decrease in emissions. In this context, Romania’s example of plans to achieve the first green steel facility with the support of clean energy produced by SMRs and photovoltaic panels can encourage even more steps and similar collaborations within the industry.
“Nuclearelectrica is committed to deploying Europe’s first small modular reactor project, alongside the refurbishment of Cernavoda NPP Unit 1 and Units 3&4 Project, at the highest standards of nuclear safety and environmental sustainability. The expansion of the nuclear capacity aims to support Romania’s and regional energy security, energy independence and reaching its decarbonation targets.
In this context, we are happy to announce a new step in our endeavour, a potential new partner in RoPower, Donalam SRL, part of AFV Beltrame Group, one of the most important steel producers in Europe. AFV Beltrame Group shares the same commitment for sustainability as we do and understands the role of nuclear energy produced by SMRs in achieving international climate change goals, securing in the same time energy security with a clean, stable, affordable and resilient energy source.
We are proud to make this announcement during United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP27) to promote the importance of industrial sustainable partnerships with major beneficial impact on reducing carbon footprint.
We trust our example showcases ways to advance the Paris Agreement targets, inspires further industry actions, encourages global and European environmental policies and both governmental and private financing support for industrial for companies with strong economic and environmental strategies derived from a sustainable approach.
Moreover, as our vision to create a sustainable future for the next generations is fully aligned with the principles of United Nations 24/7 Carbon Free Energy Compact, we are proud to join the Coalition and further support Romania’s electricity system decarbonation with the deployment of carbon-free nuclear energy technologies, both small and large scale.”, Cosmin Ghita, CEO Nuclearelectrica SA and President of the Board RoPower Nuclear SA.
“We are fully dedicated to accomplishing our vision for a sustainable business and to turning into reality our ambitious investment plans for our operations in Romania – the plants in Călărași and Târgoviște and at Group level sustainability is a priority. Energy security has lately become a topic of great relevance. Our plan to build, in the near future, the photo voltaic park in Târgoviște as well as the partnership with RoPower, are two of the solutions for ensuring our access to affordable and sustainable energy in the long run.”, Carlo Beltrame, CEO Romania&France and Business Development Manager, AFV Beltrame Group.
In Romania, SMRs will be deployed in complementarity with both large-scale reactors and renewable sources, the Romanian SMR Project also envisaging the addition of solar production capacity in the same energy complex. The joint nuclear-renewable solution would represent not only an optimal production capacity, with the ability to vary output, but also a vision of the generation sources for the power grid of the future.
RoPower is firmly committed to developing a state-of-art power plant with a strong commitment on nuclear safety and environmental sustainability, which will be achieved both by replacing a former coal-based facility with clean energy production, and by partnering with companies that have transitioned or intend to transition to sustainable outputs in order to significantly lower their carbon footprint.
The National Company “Nuclearelectrica” S.A. is the national Romanian company producing electricity, heat and nuclear fuel, which operates under the authority of the Romanian Ministry of Energy, the State holding 82.49% of shares and other shareholders, 17.50%, after the listing of the company on the Stock Exchange in 2013.
Cernavoda NPP Branch operates two CANDU nuclear units, which are two of the most performant units among more than 400 nuclear power plants in the world, a nuclear fuel factory and is in the process of achieving an integrated fuel cycle by acquiring an uranium concentrate processing line to support the company’s long-term investment projects.
Nuclearelectrica has a major role at the national level, contributing over 18% of nuclear energy in total energy production and 33% in total CO2-free energy production in Romania.
Background information regarding Romania’s steps in deploying SMRs
- In March 2019, Nuclearelectrica and NuScale signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to evaluate the development, licensing and construction of a small modular reactor (SMR) in Romania.
- On 9 October 2020, Romania signed with the United States an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) in the field of nuclear energy, which was also ratified by the Romanian Parliament, according to Law no.199/2021, having wide support and being adopted with a majority of votes.
- Moreover, in October 2020, US Exim Bank expressed, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Romanian Ministry of Energy, an interest to finance major energy investment projects in Romania, including nuclear ones, adding up to a total value of $7 billion.
- On 4 November 2021, at United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26), NuScale and Nuclearelectrica have signed a Teaming Agreement to advance the implementation of the first small scale modular reactor in Europe, in the presence of Romanian Minister of Energy, Mr. Virgil Popescu. The importance of the strategic partnership between US and Romania and the role of SMRs was highlighted in their speeches at COP26 by U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. Department of Energy, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, as well as by US President Joe Biden.
- At the beginning of 2021, Nuclearelectrica received $1.2 million from the USTDA to identify and evaluate the potential sites for the small modular reactors. In May 2022, after finalizing the study, several adequate potential sites were identified. The site of the former thermal power plant at Doicești, Dambovita County, Romania was selected as candidate site for further in-depth studies and developments.
- On 24 May 2022, Nuclearelectrica, NuScale si Nova Power & Gas (the owner of the site) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to analyse the development of the first small modular reactor (SMR) in Romania on the site of the former thermal power plant at Doicești, Dambovita District.
- In June 2022, US President Joe Biden announced the allocation of a grant of $14 million for the next stage of the development of NuScale small modular reactors in Romania – the Preliminary Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) study for the SMR project in Romania. The FEED study consists in a series of engineering and design activities and studies, technical analyses of the site, as well as licensing and authorization activities will be conducted on the site of the former power plant at Doicești, in compliance with all the international and national standards. Moreover, within the FEED Study, there will be applied the recommendations of IAEA, following the IAEA Site and External Events Design (SEED) mission developed in august 2022, at the request on Nuclearelectrica.
- In September 2022, Nuclearelectrica SA and Nova Power & Gas SRL launched RoPower Nuclear SA, the project company for the development of small modular reactors in Romania, on the site of the former coal-fired power plant in Doicesti, Dambovita County.
- In October 2022, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant of 14 million $ to RoPower Nuclear SA (RoPower), the project company for the development of the small modular reactors recently established by Nuclearelectrica and Nova Power & Gas. The grant will be used for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) study to advance the development project of Romania’s first SMR nuclear power plant.
About AFV Beltrame Group
- Founded in 1896, AFV Beltrame Group is today one of the largest producers of steel bars and special steels in Europe. The Group has 7 plants in Italy, France, Switzerland and Romania, with a total of over 2,500 employees, over 2 million tons of steel sold annually and commercial activities in over 40 countries. For more information about the company please visit: https://gruppobeltrame.com/en/donalam-srl/.
About Donalam – www.gruppobeltrame.com/en/donalam-srl/
- The Romanian subsidiary of AFV Beltrame Group, Donalam SRL, has two production facilities: the one in Călărași, with over 15 years of activity in the production of hot rolled steel bars and, starting from February 2022, the plant in Târgoviște – where, in June 2022, the production of concrete steel was restarted. The company plans to make significant investments in the immediate future, in addition to modernizing and upgrading existing structures, with plans to build a new production unit, the only one of its kind in the world.
 UN „Emissions Gap report 2022” – https://www.unep.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2022