Brazil seeks Chinese aid for nuclear power plant
Brazil will seek China’s expertise and financing to complete its third nuclear power plant when President Michel Temer makes a state visit to Beijing on Friday, Brazilian government officials said on Tuesday ( Brazilian time).
The Brazilian nuclear energy company Eletronuclear will sign a cooperation agreement with China National Nuclear Corporation ( CNNC), signaling their intent to establish a partnership to finish the Angra 3 plant, the officials said.
Construction of the 1,405 megawatt reactor on the coast south of Rio de Janeiro has dragged on for three decades and its completion is now scheduled for 2023, but an estimated 16 billion reais ($ 5 billion) is needed to finish the job.
Russia is also interested in helping to complete the work on Angra 3 and Eletronuclear, a subsidiary of state- run electric utility Eletrobras, has held talks with the Russian nuclear monopoly Rosatom.
The Chinese corporation is expected to have the advantage in terms of abundant financial resources. The head of Eletronuclear, Bruno Barretto, signed an initial memorandum with CNNC on the Angra 3 completion in Beijing in December 2016 when he visited Chinese banks that are potential financiers, Eletronuclear said in a statement.
Temer’s government has announced plans to privatize Eletrobras, Latin America’s largest utility. But Eletronuclear will be split off and remain in state hands under Brazil’s constitution.
Temer said on Tuesday he expects China to be a major player in Brazil’s plans to modernize its ports, airports and other infrastructure projects that will be offered to investors in private concessions. He also hopes China will finance energy projects.