$3 Billion in Federal Export Finance to Support Canadian Businesses While Providing Clean Energy Security for Romania
September 19, 2023 Ottawa, Ontario Natural Resources Canada
Canada’s long-standing relationship with Romania extends to fighting climate change, enhancing energy security and supporting economic development in both countries. Through Canadian technologies, financing and bilateral cooperation, Canada is committed to supporting Romania to advance all these shared priorities.
That is why today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, alongside Sebastian Burduja, Minister of Energy of Romania, announced Canada’s decision to support Romanian energy security and climate action through $3 billion in available export financing to Nuclearelectrica S.A. (SNN), the national operator of the Cernavoda Nuclear Generating Station. This investment will support further Canadian jobs and business activity in Romania’s nuclear sector.
For decades, nuclear cooperation has been a pillar of Canada's relationship with Romania. Romania plans to build two new Canada deuterium uranium (CANDU) nuclear reactors at Cernavoda (units 3 and 4).
The construction of these two CANDU-6 reactors will:
· support economic activity across Canada’s nuclear sector and broader power sector;
· drive down emissions while helping Romania phase out coal power by 2032;
· add 1,400 megawatts of clean, non-emitting electricity production capacity to Romania’s grid; and
· unlock Romania’s potential to become a regional hub for secure energy in the face of Russian energy intimidation while enabling support for Moldova and Ukraine.
Russia’s brutal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine has underscored the need for Romania and other European countries to reduce continental reliance on Russian energy while maximizing their energy security. In this regard, Canada is stepping up to support Europe’s energy future in the face of supply shortages, while advancing shared priorities.
Both Romania and Canada are taking active and ambitious steps to combat climate change while delivering affordable, reliable and clean power to communities. For decades, nuclear energy contributed to Canada’s clean energy supply and will continue to play an important role for many regions in a net-zero world.
Today’s investment will deliver sustainable jobs and investment for Canadian workers and industries while advancing Canada’s commitment to our partners and allies in the global fight against climate change.
“The export financing announced today to support our Romanian partners will support the creation of new good jobs and economic activity in Canada. The new Cernavoda reactors will leverage Canadian CANDU technology to deliver clean and reliable power to communities while contributing to Canada’s efforts to support European energy security. Canadian nuclear expertise will continue to play an important role in helping the world accelerate to a clean and secure energy future.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
“Canada’s participation in this clean energy project will strengthen our reputation as a priority energy partner in Europe and beyond. This project will create good jobs for Canadians and Romanians alike. This will further support Canada’s economic growth by encouraging greater partnerships between Canadian and Romanian nuclear industries, especially partnerships between our small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
The Honourable Mary Ng
Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development
“Our countries’ bilateral relations go way back. In the 70s, Romania took the historical decision to be the only country behind the Iron Curtain to develop a nuclear program based on Western technology and the only European country to choose CANDU technology (Canadian deuterium uranium) for its nuclear program. As the current geopolitical context has shown, this was the best decision that Romania could have taken at that time.
“From that point onward, the cooperation between our countries has only grown stronger. I am proud to reaffirm today our unwavering commitment to a long-term and prosperous cooperation between our countries in the nuclear field. I also underline Romania’s full support for the development of the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant, with two new units using CANDU technology and our commitment to treat this strategic national security project with the highest priority.”
Minister of Energy of Romania
“This is a strategic decision that can enhance our economic bilateral relationship and improve the foreign direct investment from Canada in Romania offering security and stability in the region.”
President, Romanian Agency for Trade and Investment
As an EU member state and committed NATO ally on the eastern flank, Canada has strategic and mutually beneficial bilateral relations with Romania, including in areas of trade, investment, security, and defence. Canada and Romania have a long-standing nuclear energy relationship dating back to the signing of the Canada–Romania Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) in 1977.
Expansion of its nuclear energy capacity will enable Romania to achieve its objective of phasing out coal from electricity generation by 2032, with CANDU-6 reactors supplying 36 percent of Romania’s total electricity needs, up from the current 21 percent.
Canada provided export financing support to construct and operate two CANDU-6 reactors at Cernavoda, known as the C1 and C2 reactors. These reactors, designed by Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL), were completed in 1996 and 2007 respectively and have remained operational ever since.
Since the start of operations of the C2 reactor in 2007, the two-unit site has an exemplary operating and safety record and is a source of pride in Romania. A total of over 170 million tonnes of CO2 have been avoided since C1 and C2 have gone into service.
The CANDU reactor remains one of the single largest research and development investments ever made by the Canadian government. Canada has exported CANDU technology to Argentina, China, India, Pakistan, Romania and South Korea.
Nuclear cooperation was highlighted in the 2023 Joint Statement by Prime Minister Trudeau and President Biden.
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development
Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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