For most companies, problems for three of their biggest competitors would probably be cause for celebration. But at Russian nuclear conglomerate Rosatom, the recent setbacks at rivals Westinghouse, Areva and Kepco have instead caused concern. Their woes are representative of the wider threat from renewable and other sources of energy to the nuclear industry, according to Kirill Komarov, Rosatom’s deputy chief executive, amid ambitious growth plans by the sprawling state-run group. Many analysts still see Rosatom, a conglomerate that spans the nuclear energy industry, as a beneficiary of the crisis given its ambitions. It is managing 42 power plant projects in 12 countries, including EU members Finland and Hungary, commissioned 10 nuclear units in the past decade, and has a 10-year order book worth $133bn, excluding its domestic business. This plays a part in the forecasts of the International Energy Agency of a tripling of global nuclear capacity by 2060. Rosatom’s increased influence has unnerved some, however. Its role as a 34 per cent shareholder and supplier of finance and atomic fuel for Finland’s Hanhikivi plant almost caused the collapse of the Finnish government in 2014, when the country’s Green party left the previous ruling coalition in protest. The EU took three years to approve Hungary’s Pak II plant, built and financed by Rosatom, amid fears in Brussels of Russian leverage on the bloc’s eastern flank.But given the troubles at western rivals and the pivot by Seoul, some industry analysts say only China’s collection of state-controlled nuclear firms have similar scale to challenge Rosatom.
FT 28th June 2017 read more »