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CEO says construction of new blocks at Paks could be completed by 2020-2025

The licensing process for two new blocks at the Paks Nuclear Power Plant could be completed in 2014-2015 and construction finished by 2020-2025, thus providing the facility with an additional 2,000MW of capacity, plant CEO János Süli told the business daily Napi Gazdasag in an interview published on Monday.

Süli said that Hungarian companies would be retained to complete HUF 600 billion – HUF 700 billion of the HUF 2,000 billion (€7.3 billion) project.

Four companies have so far expressed interest in preliminary negotiations to submit bids in a tender to double the capacity at Paks: Russia's Atomstroyexport, Toshiba unit Westinghouse Electric LLC, a joint venture between France's Areva and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and a Franco-German joint venture, Econews reported earlier.

Süli announced in January that the Paks Nuclear Power Plant had revenue of HUF 154.1 billion (€564.5 million) in 2009, up 9.2% yr/yr.

The facility generated 15,427 GW hours of electricity in 2009, a record in its 26 years history, up 4.1% from 2008, plant Communications Director István Mittler told MTI in January.

Paks is Hungary's only nuclear power plant. Starting in 2006, the plant raised the capacity of each of its four reactor blocks to a nominal 500 MW from the original 440 MW. The four VVER-440, Soviet-designed pressurized water blocks were commissioned from 1983 to 1987. As a result of the program, the share of Paks in Hungary's production of electricity had grown to 42.97% last year from 37.2% in 2008. (MTI-Econews)