Paks Upgrade Moving Forward


The upgrade of Hungary's Paks nuclear power plant is moving forward at the pace requested by the customer, Alexander Merten, the deputy head of ASE, the Rosatom unit that is the general contractor for the EUR 12 billion project, told Hungarian journalists at the Atomexpo nuclear energy trade fair in Sochi.

According to, Merten said project company Paks II is in charge of deciding the tempo of the investment and acquiring the necessary permits, although Rosatom is assisting with the permit applications.

While Rosatom is not affected by European Union sanctions, the impact of the vulnerability of the supplier network and the recession can be felt in the implementation of the investment, he added.

The plan is to put two new blocks online in 2030, but much depends on Paks II as well as on Hungarian authorities and decision-makers, Merten said. To illustrate the point, he noted that the investment would require around 2.5 million tonnes of cement, but cement companies must pay a windfall profit tax at present.

If that "minor problem" can be solved, building materials need to be sourced in Hungary, and if that isn't possible, they need to be purchased abroad, which could take more time and be more expensive, he said.

Merten added that Hungarian companies involved in the project, such as Duna Aszfalt and the Kész group, are "working very well," and said that more local businesses would hopefully join the investment as tenders get underway.


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