New Build

Hungary / European Commission Has Approved Changes To Paks 2 Nuclear Contracts With Russia, Says Foreign Minister

By David Dalton
26 May 2023

Rosatom overseeing €12.5 billion project for two new reactors

European Commission Has Approved Changes To Paks 2 Nuclear Contracts With Russia, Says Foreign Minister
A computer-generated image of the plannedPaks 2 nuclear power station in Hungary. Courtesy Paks II.

Hungary has received European Commission approval to amend contracts awarded nine years ago to Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom for new units at the Paks nuclear power station in central Hungary, foreign minister Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday (25 May).

“Yesterday we got the green light from the European Commission. The commission has approved the contract changes of the new reactors to be built in Paks, both the construction and the financing contract,” Szijjarto said in a video posted on Facebook.

Szijjarto said the original 2014 agreements for two new units at Paks 2 were rendered “somewhat obsolete” due to changes in the legal, technical and physical environment

Rosatom is overseeing the expansion of Paks, a €12.5bn ($13.4bn) deal that has drawn criticism for giving Russia’s president Vladimir Putin influence over an EU country’s energy supply.

Nuclear power is not covered by European Union sanctions against Russia imposed over the war in Ukraine, and Hungary has opposed expanding sanctions to include the sector.

Project Has Seen Delays

Hungary and Russia agreed on Paks 2 in 2014, but the project has gone through delays and permitting issues.

The project would see Russia supplying two new-generation VVER-1200 pressurised water reactor units in a deal financed mostly with a Russian loan.

In April Szijjarto said Hungary and Russia had reached agreement on “all the necessary issues” needed to go ahead with the construction of the Paks 2 plants.

Szijjarto confirmed on social media at the time that agreement had been reached on “the amendment of the construction and financing contract for the expansion of Paks”.

He said that regardless of the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, “life and the technological situation have changed so much that contracts had to be changed”.

“We have gone through long negotiations, but today we have reached an agreement on all the necessary issues that guarantee that we can carry out the investment and protect Hungarian families and the Hungarian economy from completely insane price changes,” Szijjarto said.

The existing Paks station is Hungary’s only commercial nuclear power facility. Its four reactors provide about 48% of the country’s electricity.

Paks 2 will have two Russia-supplied nuclear plants. Courtesy Paks II.

Pen Use this content