Russia has offered Jordan a deal under which it will construct four nuclear power reactors. The proposal – similar to that offered to Turkey – is separate to the tender to supply the country’s first power reactor, the winner of which is set to be selected by the end of this month.
Rosatom’s reactor export subsidiary AtomStroyExport (ASE) approached the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) in January with a proposal to build four 1200 MWe VVER units, similar to the agreement it reached with Turkey, according to a Jordan Times report reproduced by Rosatom.
According to the report, if all four units are built, 4000 MWe of generating capacity would be added to the grid, more than doubling Jordan’s current generating capacity. This would transform the country from an energy importer to an energy exporter.
In May 2010, an intergovernmental agreement was signed by Russia and Turkey under which Turkey’s first nuclear power plant will be built, owned and operated by a Russian project company. The deal – worth some $20 billion – covers the construction of four 1200 MWe VVER units at the Akkuyu site on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Russian state nuclear enterprise Rosatom will create a project company subsidiary, which will initially be 100% Russian-owned. In the longer term, Russia may sell up to 49% of the company to other investors from Turkey and elsewhere, but will retain the 51% controlling stake.
If Jordan accepts the Russian offer, the project would be implemented outside of the framework of the ongoing tender process to select the supplier of the country’s first power reactor. JAEC chairman Khaled Toukan stressed that the Russian offer would not influence Jordan’s selection of the winning bid.
The invitation to tender for the turnkey plant was announced in January 2011 with three vendors subsequently shortlisted in May: an Areva-Mistubishi Heavy Industries consortium, Russia’s AtomStroyExport and Canada’s SNC-Lavalin International. The designs under consideration are the Atmea1 pressurized water reactor, the AES-92 model VVER-1000, and the Enhanced Candu-6 pressurized heavy-water reactor. The vendors submitted their technical offers to JAEC in July 2011. Their financial proposals were submitted the following month. A specially formed tenders committee is expected to select the winning bid by the end of this month. A financial adviser to assist the project will also be announced. JAEC expects to sign an engineering, procurement and construction contract in mid-2012.
JAEC expects to start building a 750-1100 MWe nuclear power plant in 2013 for operation by 2020 and a second one for operation by 2025. Longer-term, four nuclear reactors are envisaged. Further nuclear projects are likely to involve desalination.