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Paks II: What are the opportunities for SMEs during construction?

Articles int the sequel:

The Paks II project, worth EUR 12 billion, is the largest industrial investment in Hungary's history. Hungarian suppliers can reach up to 40 percent, according to the agreement with Rosatom, which means that a business opportunity of around 5 percent of domestic GDP may be opened to them.

There are opportunities also for smaller companies

It is Hungary's primary interest to have small and medium-sized businesses in the Paks 2 project, said in interview to KamaraOnline the CEO of Enersense International, Aaron Michelin. In the construction of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant in Finland, in which Enersense has been actively involved, more than 1000 companies have been cooperated and over 25,000 people from more than 60 countries have been working on the project for a longer or shorter period. According to Aaron Michelin, similarly "international" will be the Paks 2 investment as well.

Although, SMEs need to understand that they will not be too strong in the first round – at the conclusions of the largest supplier contracts. They must be patient until the main contractor contracts are concluded. However, on the third and fourth – for certain services even at the second – level there may be serious opportunities for the smallest companies, and this can be confirmed by experiences in Finland. The SMEs have to utilise the remaining time: they must obtain the appropriate certificates, ISO certificates and the qualifications required to participate in nuclear projects. Equally important is the training of professionals, they must also have the appropriate certificates.

What kind of tasks can be applied for the companies that wish to participate in the project? The subcontractors have the best opportunities usually at the construction phase, which takes several years. In the next – incomplete – list we are going to set out the tasks that must be done during the construction of a nuclear power plant.

The work to be done during the construction can be divided into two parts:

  • general construction;
  • special tasks related to the nuclear power plant.

Among the general construction works, beside others, are the tasks related to preparing the area. The construction of the nuclear power plant can only be started after those are completed. In addition to the reactor and the turbine block, several other units are required for the operation of the nuclear power plant.

Preparatory works

  • electrical wiring
  • urban planning tasks
  • fences
  • telephone and information networks
  • road construction
  • dredging
  • ground handling,
  • cementing, priming
  • ground transportation
  • harbours and canalization

Essential services, service buildings

  • training center
  • entrance main building
  • administrative building
  • fire station
  • main building
  • visitor center
  • workshops, warehouses
  • accommodation
  • other service buildings

Construction Support Services

  •  water and sewage system
  •  heating and air conditioning
  •  electrical network
  • access control
  • telecommunication network
  • fire protection equipment

Materials for construction

  • concrete elements
  • rebar
  • other reinforcing elements (some are made on the site, others are in advance)
  • Pre-stressed concrete elements
  • surface treatment materials

Mechanical tasks and tools

  • pressure vessels
  • heat exchangers and storage
  • water and condensate treatment
  • cooling systems
  • pumps
  • valves and wires
  • sprinkle systems
  • cranes
  • elevators, lifts
  • diesel aggregators
  • moving steel structures
  • steel sheets
  • bridges, handrails
  • pool insulation
  • supporting structures
  • checkpoints
  • mounting baskets
  • steel baskets
  • stairs, rails

Electronics, Automation, HVAC Systems (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning)

  • transformers, transformer stations
  • power units
  • insulations
  • automation sensors and switches
  • automatic system verification and monitoring (user interfaces, workstations, control panels)
  • switchboards
  • cables
  • other facilities
  • cable routes
  • wiring

Electronic devices and systems

  • devices
  • digital control systems, simulators
  • radiation detection

Spare power source

  • diesel generators
  • gas turbines

Other works

  • insulation
  • welding
  • control, testing
  • scaffolding, weather protection
  • environmental monitoring
  • construction of the laboratory


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