China eyes Brazil's stalled Angra 3 nuclear project

By
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) could buy a stake in the stalled Angra 3 nuclear power project as part of a cooperation agreement with Brazilian state-run firm Eletronuclear.

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding for future partnerships following talks in China, Eletronuclear said in a statement on Tuesday.

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Interim Eletronuclear CEO Bruno Barretto said earlier this month negotiations would focus on securing new investments for the troubled 1.35GW Angra 3 project in Rio de Janeiro state (pictured).

The talks also involved China's State Nuclear Power Technology Company (SNPTC), and several Chinese banks.

Construction work on Angra 3 was halted late last year after contractors alleged they had not been paid. The project has also been a target of Brazil's sprawling Lava Jato corruption probe.

See BNamerica's risk analysis for the Angra 3 project here

Originally slated to begin operating this year at a cost of 10bn reais (around 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.

In its search for new investors, Eletronuclear has also held talks with France's EDF, South Korean group Kepco and Russia's Rosatom.

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