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Construction of new units at Hungary’s Paks NPP to begin as scheduled - foreign minister

Austria announced plans to challenge the project in the European Court

TROMSO /Norway/, January 24. /TASS/. Despite Austria’s protests, the construction of two new units at Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plant will begin in February, as previously agreed, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said.

"Everything is still on track, the investment is still on track, according to the schedule. As you know, the government of Austria made an appeal because of the decision of the European commission on the investment, but it has no impact on the schedule. Everything is according to the plans," Szijjarto told TASS on the sidelines of the Arctic Frontiers conference in Norway’s Tromso.

Austria’s Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism announced on Monday that it was planning to contest in the European Court the European Commission (EC)’s approval for the construction of new units of the Hungarian NPP . Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban is set to discuss the issue with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on January 30.

The Paks nuclear plant was built in late 1980s and now accounts for about 43% of Hungary’s electricity consumption, according to Szijjarto. The Paks-2 project to build new units with a combined capacity of 2,400 megawatts will bring this figure to 65%

Russia and Hungary agreed to build two reactors at Paks in January 2014. Russia will extend a 10 bln euro loan to Hungary for the implementation of the project. The overall investments in two new Paks reactors will not exceed 12.5 bln euros. The borrowed funds will be used through 2025.