Economy minister mum on Rosatom/Paks deal details

Recycling

After discussions among government officials regarding Russian government investment in extending the Paks nuclear power plant, National Economy Minister Mihály Varga appeared on public radio this morning, but didn’t provide much more information than is currently known.

Said Varga, “we are receiving this loan from the Russians at a good, cheap interest” and “the blocks will go live after a ten-year construction period and a six-month trial run, expectedly in 2015 and repayment of the loan will begin only then.”

In reporting on the deal, local business news outlet Portfolio.hu brought into question a number of factors which have thus far gone unexplained, including how any over-budget expenses would be covered, what is to be done about supplementary investment in necessary peripheral projects; and which method(s) the central government might employ to garner the 20% of the budget for which it is indebted.

The government discussed the Russian loan at a cabinet meeting in Budapest yesterday, government spokesman András Giró-Szász informed national news service MTI. The €10 billion loan has four interest rates: 3.95%, 4.5%, 4.8% and 4.95%, he said.

“Hungary may repay the loan early at any time, and the National Economy Ministry has the right to approve payouts, which naturally gives Hungary control over the costs,” Giró-Szász said. Russia is lending Hungary the €10 billion to build two blocks at the Paks plant, credit enough to cover 80% of the cost.

–material by Gergő Rácz was used in this article

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