The Angra 3 resumption is expected to warm up the Brazilian industry in 2011. In 2010, the year the project was resumed, Eletrobras Eletronuclear invested about US$ 190 million in the project. In 2011, US$ 1.1 billion is expected to be invested.

Angra 3 construction site January 2011

Angra 3 is the third plant at Almirante Álvaro Alberto Nuclear Power Station (CNAAA), located at Itaorna beach in Angra dos Reis - Rio de Janeiro State. When commercial operation starts by the end of 2015, the new plant, with an output of 1,405 MW, will produce more then 10 million MWh per year.

The project, which is in the initial phase of civil works (almost 10% of the physical progress until the middle of January 2011), will require investments that amount to about US$ 6.0 billion – out of which 75% will be spent in Brazil. The financing for the project is already established. BNDES, the Brazilian Development Bank, has approved loans of US$ 3.7 billion for placing orders in the national market. The Brazilian organization of Coordination and Control of State-Owned Companies (DEST) has already approved granting of this loan. The draft contract of the financing is being analyzed by Eletronuclear (responsible for the design, construction and operation) and its holding company Eletrobras. The signature of the contract is expected to happen up to the end of March 2011.

The establishment of Angra 3 financial structure also considers that part of the financing comes from a loan by Eletrobras, derived from the Global Reversion Reverse’s funds (RGR), which must be used in the electricity sector. This financing of US$ 540 million is already signed.

The funds for the engineering services and the purchase of equipment in the international market, close to EUR 1.5 billion, will be provided by an international financing, whose process is being carried out by Eletrobras. As regards the feasibility of this financing, it is expected that the National Congress will analyze its contracting later this year.

Up to mid-January 2011, 17 contracts were renegotiated with domestic suppliers of equipment and services, including the contract for the execution of civil construction. Eletronuclear signed, up to the present moment, contracts in connection with Angra 3 construction, totaling about US$ 1.1 billion. Just to complement the services of civil and mechanical engineering design detailing, contracts with estimated total of US$ 175 million will be put out to tender in 2011.

Important orders are being placed in the Brazilian market. CONFAB will supply the tanks, vessels and heavy components such as: steel containment sphere and its accessories, gates, piping and spent fuel pool liner. BARDELLA will supply special overhead travelling crane for moving loads. EBSE will supply large-diameter pipes, and Brazil’s SIEMENS, the main transformers. Contracts were signed with NUCLEP for the supply of heavy mechanical equipment such as condensers and accumulators.

Angra 3 construction site February 2011

In March / April 2011 Eletronuclear will put out the bidding for contracting Angra 3 electromechanical erection services – one of the greatest tenders in the national market. This contracting will be divided in two packages. The first one includes the erection of structures and buildings related to the nuclear steam supply system, and the other covers the erection related to the buildings of the conventional portion of the nuclear power plant. In order to meet the legal deadlines, the company expects to sign the contracts with the bidding winners in August or September this year.

The Renuclear Program (Special Regime for Development of Nuclear Power Plants), which grants exemption of federal taxes levied on Industrial Products and Imported equipment and material to be used in the construction of the plant, will save from US$ 420 million to US$ 600 million – about 10% of the funds to complete the project. The program is part of a Provisional Measure (MP), as of December 30th, 2010, which still needs regulation by the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy - MME.

Angra 3 construction also stimulates the job market at Costa Verde region, south coast of Rio de Janeiro State, where CNAAA is located. The construction COMPANY ANDRADE GUTIERREZ, responsible for the civil works, currently has a staff of 2140 employees, out of which about 80% lives in the municipalities of Angra dos Reis, Paraty and Rio Claro, consistent with the company’s policy of giving priority to the local labour.

Four thousand jobs are estimated to be created only in the initial phase. Afterwards, the electromechanical erection services, which will start on the second year of construction, will demand four thousand more employees. During the five years and a half of implementation, five thousand direct jobs will be generated, on average, and this might get to nine thousand jobs, with peak employment as high as nine thousand jobs during the peak phase at construction site.

The French-German company AREVA will complete the supply of other imported equipment, in accordance with the originally contracted scope, and the technical support for the specific services of erection supervision, engineering and commissioning.

Five hundred permanent employees will be required for the operation of the Nuclear Power Plant. The employees for these positions will be selected by means of public examination and the professionals to be contracted and trained will be mainly: operators, mechanics, electricians, chemists, engineers and, physicists.

The creation of skilled occupations requires a high qualification from the employees. This demand indicates an increase in the intellectual capital of the sector. In 2010, UFRJ, the Rio de Janeiro Federal University, started to offer the first undergraduate course in Nuclear Engineering in Brazil. In the basic cycle of the course, which takes four semesters to complete, the students learn the subjects common to all engineering specialties. The specialization cycle takes six more semesters. The syllabus of the course has disciplines like Applied Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Reactor Physics, Alternative Energy Sources, Computational Methods, Risk Analysis of Nuclear Facilities, among others. Providing proper qualification in the area, at undergraduate level, is a major breakthrough in order to face the issue of lack of qualified workers in Brazil. Following the development of the nuclear sector, the Polytechnic School of São Paulo University (USP) also plans to have an undergraduate course in the area, and this may happen in the coming years.

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Date: Monday, 28 February 2011
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