Rosatom's overseas contract value rises 20% in 2016
17 July 2017 | World Nuclear News
Rosatom saw the value of its long-term portfolio of foreign orders "continue to grow" last year - by 20.9% to $133.4 billion. In a statement to accompany publication of its annual report for 2016, the Russian state nuclear corporation said this meant it had retained its "world-leading position" in terms of contracts to build nuclear units for overseas customers - 34 reactors in 12 countries at the end of last year.
The company recorded a 5.3% increase in revenue last year to RUB864.6 billion ($14.5 billion) according to International Financial Reporting Standards.
It described its access for the first time to the fuel market for Western-designed reactors as one of its main achievements last year.
In December, Swedish utility Vattenfall signed long-term supply contracts with three nuclear fuel manufacturers, adding Rosatom's nuclear fuel manufacturer subsidiary TVEL to its established relationships with French Areva and American Westinghouse. The agreements - worth SEK1.2 billion ($131 million) in total - cover 19 consignments to Ringhals 3 and 4 between 2018 and 2025. TVEL will account for about a fifth of these, while Areva and Westinghouse will supply the remainder. TVEL's contract with Vattenfall - signed on 30 November - covers the supply of TVS-K fuel for the Ringhals plant and includes delivery of commercial reloads of nuclear fuel assemblies starting from 2021.
Rosatom said yesterday that TVEL's "long-term efforts" to enter the Western reactor fuel market had also led to a contract for the pilot production of its TVS-K fuel for the USA. In May last year, TVEL and Global Nuclear Fuel Americas announced they had agreed to work together to introduce Russian-designed pressurised water reactor fuel into the USA. They will introduce lead use assemblies of TVEL's TVS-K fuel design and seek licensing approval from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to supply the fuel in reload quantities.
On progress with its other "major achievements" in foreign markets, Rosatom noted the handover of the first two units of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant to its Indian customer, and the pouring of first concrete for units 3 and 4. ASE Group, Rosatom's engineering subsidiary, and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) announced the "final acceptance" of Kudankulam 1 in April this year. Kudankulam 1 entered commercial operation in December 2014, while unit 2 reached 100% of its operating capacity in January this year. Also in April, NPCIL signed an agreement provisionally accepting Kudankulam 2 from its Russian suppliers and thus marking the unit's entry into commercial operation. The unit reached first criticality in May 2016 and was connected to India's power grid in August. Two further VVER-1000 units - Kudankulam 3 and 4 - are to be built at the site in a second construction phase, with more units to follow. The first pouring of structural concrete for units 3 and 4 was marked with a ceremony on 29 June at the site in Tamil Nadu, India.
The laying of the first foundation stone for units 2 and 3 of the Bushehr nuclear power plant at the construction site in southern Iran in September was another highlight in 2016, Rosatom said.
The report noted that 2016 was another record year for generating electricity at Russian nuclear power plants - 196.4 billion kWh were produced and the share of nuclear power in Russia's energy mix was 18.3%. This was facilitated by the commissioning of the Beloyarsk 4 - the BN-800 fast neutron reactor - as well as the start-up of Novovoronezh II 1, which was officially commissioned in February this year.
Kirill Komarov, Rosatom deputy director-general for international business, said the 2016 financial year had been successful due the development of new business. The ten-year portfolio of orders for new products increased by 74.6% to RUB1018.8 billion, he said, while revenue for new products rose by 52.6% to RUB190.8 billion.
One of the key events of the year, he said, was winning contracts to build wind power plants in Russia with a total capacity of at least 610 MWe.
"According to our strategic goal, revenue from new products should be at least 30% of total revenue by 2030. When we think about the development of certain product lines, we immediately determine whether in the future we will be able to enter the international market with the product and be competitive there," Komarov said. "To realise a project, we build a complete production chain in order to present a comprehensive offer to our foreign partners," he added.
Rosatom has meanwhile briefed the Russian parliament on its work on advanced technologies.
Vyacheslav Pershukov, Rosatom deputy director general and head of innovation, earlier this week outlined the state nuclear company's strategy for advanced technologies to the lower house of parliament, the State Duma. Pershukov said Rosatom was "systematically developing the most advanced and innovative technologies - from the accumulation of energy to artificial intelligence".
Pershukov took part in a round table discussion Nuclear energy technologies of the new generation: legislative aspect held at the State Duma on 11 July.
"Rosatom is forming business in the field of additive technologies, creating industrial 3D printers that print in metal, and developing nuclear batteries," he said. "Rosatom's main principle is not to miss anything that can be realised as business in the future."
Pershukov said the Russian nuclear industry is a "recognised leader" in the world market for nuclear technologies. The company is the "world's first" in terms of the number of nuclear power plants being built simultaneously, it supplies 40% of the world market in uranium enrichment services and 17% of the nuclear fuel market, he added.
He also noted Rosatom's efforts to create an International Research Centre based on MBIR - the multipurpose sodium-cooled fast neutron research reactor that is under construction at the site of the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) at Dmitrovgrad.
"Global interest in MBIR is huge," he said, "because everyone understands that the research reactor park has practically exhausted itself, and MBIR could become the only world centre for research into creating nuclear energy of the future."