Rosatom is studying the possibility of building a 1,200 MWe NPP in the far east. According to preliminary estimates, the plant will comprise two VVER-type power units with a capacity of 600 MWe, which do not yet have reference plants. Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev told the 8th Eastern Economic Forum 2023 in Vladivostok that construction of the plant will also enable the export of electricity. Regulators plan to decide on the site next year. Investments in the construction of the two-unit plant using new technology, according to analysts, will amount to $5-7bn.

Sources familiar with the discussion of the project told Kommersant completion of construction would probably be between 2035 and 2042. The financing mechanism has yet to be decided – either from Rosatom’s own funds or a power supply agreement which guarantees a return on investment through the wholesale energy market.

Likhachev said “the creation of large-scale generating capacities in the far east is being seriously considered – this is Primorsky Territory and Khabarovsk.” He made clear that the discussion is being conducted as part a general scheme for the deployment of energy capacities until 2042.

Due to the limitations of the electrical grid infrastructure in the far east, medium-sized power units are required rather than Rosatom's standard designs such as VVER-1000 and VVER-1200 reactors. A reference plant with VVER-600 reactors is planned for the Kola-II NPP in 2028 and 2034 to replace the four VVER-440 units currently operating there which will be approaching the end of their design life.

The possibility of building NPPs in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky territories was studied in Soviet times and also in the post-Soviet period, when construction of a two-unit Primorsky NPP with a capacity of 600 MWe or 1,000 MWe were considered.

Today there are concerns about long-term energy shortages in the region because by 2035-2040 a significant part of the existing 6.6 GWe thermal generation fleet will need to be replaced, even taking into lie extension of the plants.

Now it is more likely that a NPP will be built in the Khabarovsk Territory – near Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Sovetskaya Gavan – to ensure power supply to the Vostochny cosmodrome and new energy-intensive projects in the mining industry, according to Sergei Kondratyev from the Institute of Energy & Finance. Exporters of mineral resources and coal may also be interested in the project.

Date: Wednesday, 20 September 2023
Original article: neimagazine.com/news/newsrosatom-considering-npp-construction-in-russias-far-east-11158002