Brazil seeks Chinese investors to kick-start Angra 3 nuclear works

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Executives from Brazilian state-run power company Eletronuclear are due to visit China next month in an attempt to secure new investors in its stalled Angra 3 nuclear power project.

Interim Eletronuclear CEO Bruno Barretto said the trip would include talks with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), State Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC), and several banks.

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"This visit to China is the result of months of conversations," Barretto was quoted telling local media during an infrastructure investment event.

See BNamericas' Angra 3 risk analysis here

A snag in negotiations is a Brazilian law that prohibits the operation of nuclear power plants by private or foreign firms.

STALLED

Construction work on the 1.35GW Angra 3 plant near Rio de Janeiro was halted late last year when contractors downed tools alleging they had not been paid. The project has also been a target of Brazil's sprawling Lava Jato corruption probe.

Originally slated to begin operating this year at a cost of 10bn reais (US$3bn), the project is now estimated to require 19.6bn reais and is not expected to come online until at least 2021.

Eletronuclear is a subsidiary of federal power holding company Eletrobras.