home Pending Reactors, U Restart of nuclear reactor’s construction in Brazil moves forward

Restart of nuclear reactor’s construction in Brazil moves forward

Close view of the Angra 3 nuclear plant (© Disclosure Eletronuclear)

A consortium led by Tractebel has just finalized the first stage of the project that will enable to resume the construction of the Angra 3 nuclear power plant in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The reactor will help secure energy supply in the country by generating over 1.4 GW of low-carbon electricity per year, enough to power around six million homes.

Last year, Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) awarded a contract to the Angra Eurobras NES consortium, made up of Tractebel and Empresarios Agrupados, to structure the project for the completion of the Angra 3 nuclear reactor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A major milestone in the project is now finalized, the due diligence and evaluations stage.

Angra 3 is a nuclear power plant under construction. Its construction was originally started in 1984, but was suspended twice, in 2010 and in 2015, when over 60% of the project had already been completed. The plant is now scheduled to go into operation by the end of 2028. Contracting the consortium is part of the technical services that BNDES has been providing since 2019 to ELETRONUCLEAR S.A., the owner of the Angra nuclear power plant. BNDES is responsible for structuring the different aspects of the project completion including the technical, economic, financial, and fund-raising ones.

Due diligence and evaluations

The purpose of the due diligence and evaluations is to analyze and evaluate in detail the information and documents on the project of the Owner.

Our engineers based in Brazil and in Belgium carried out a budget study and elaborated an activity schedule for the power plant’s completion. They also delivered a preliminary Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract Specification Report that covers all the technical aspects, including the technical qualification criteria for the selection process of the EPC partners.

What’s next?

This first phase will enable BNDES to elaborate the modeling and will provide reliable data for the economic and financial assessment, the fund-raising process, and for the elaboration of the final EPC contract. It is crucial as it will mitigate the project’s risks.

BNDES will now deliver the modeling of the project to the stakeholders for approval. Once the various stakeholders including the Ministry of Mining and Energy (MME), Eletronuclear (the Brazilian nuclear operator) and the Brazilian court of account (TCU) that oversees all government expenditures have analyzed it, the EPC scope will be finalized, taking into account their comments and modifications.

Our experts will continue to provide engineering advice to BNDES throughout the project and will review the different aspects of the EPC scope when needed.

Securing electricity supply

Diversifying the energy mix is crucial for Brazil. The country is heavily dependent on hydropower for its electricity production (67%). Major droughts in 2001 and 2015 caused power and water supply shortages, especially in urban areas. The two nuclear power units, Angra 1 and 2, account for only 3% of Brazil’s electricity. The vulnerability of the country to climate change has led the government to take measures, including the completion of Angra 3 to reduce its dependency upon hydropower.

“The finalization of the due diligence stage for Angra 3 is crucial, as it will enable to elaborate the specifications of the contract model for one or more engineering, procurement and construction contractors. Our engineers are providing cutting edge engineering services to BNDES for the completion of the plant. We are proud to be involved in a project that will help secure Brazil’s energy supply for several decades.”

Paulo Coelho, Head of Nuclear, South America

Source: Tractebel