Sinohydro wins deal to build four-lane highway in Romanian city of Zalau
US$53 million project signed after government ends talks with Chinese on nuclear reactors
12 Aug 2020 | Michael Marray

Sinohydro has signed a US$53 million contract for the construction of a ring road in Zalau, around 550 kilometres northwest of the Romanian capital Bucharest. This is the first road design and construction project undertaken by a Chinese company in Romania.

Sun Zhiming, country representative of Sinohydro’s parent company PowerChina, and Mariana Ionita, general director of the Romanian National Company of Road Infrastructure Administration (CNAIR), signed the deal in Zalau on July 31, according to local press reports. Romanian Minister of Transport Lucian Nicolae Bode attended the event.

The project involves the construction of a 5.5-kilometre, four-lane highway with five viaducts and two bridges across multiple valleys. The contract has a duration of 30 months, including six months for the design phase, with an additional seven-year warranty period, CNAIR said.

Trade and investment relations between China and Romania suffered a blow in May, when the Romanian government asked the state-owned company Nuclearelectrica to terminate discussions with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) on the construction of nuclear reactors 3 and 4 in Cernavoda.  Nuclearelectrica, which already runs the existing nuclear plant in Cernavoda, had signed a memorandum of understanding with CGN in November 2015 to build the two reactors

Prime Minister  Ludovic Orban has come out against China building the reactors, with some analysts pointing to pressure from Romania’s close ally the United States. The government is now looking for partners from either Europe or the US for the new reactors, which it hopes to have built by 2030. Romania’s energy ministry holds an 82.49% stake in Nuclearelectrica. 

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