OPIC Statement at Ukraine Signing Ceremony for Energoatom Spent Nuclear Fuel Project
December 21, 2017
UKRAINE – Today, the government of Ukraine hosted a signing ceremony in Kyiv for the Energoatom Central Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility Project, which helps move Ukraine closer to energy independence by giving Ukraine the capability to domestically store spent nuclear fuel. OPIC is providing $250 million in political risk insurance and Holtec International, based in Camden, New Jersey, is providing the spent fuel storage casts and other equipment.
The documents included the credit agreement, the sovereign guarantee, the arbitration agreement, and the foreign enterprise support agreement. Representatives from Energoatom, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Broad Street Capital Group, and an OPIC trustee were in attendance.
Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Kistion and Minister of Finance Oleksandr Danyliuk delivered remarks. The U.S. Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission George Kent read the following statement from OPIC President and CEO Ray W. Washburne, who was unable to attend:
Thank you all for the invitation to attend today’s signing ceremony in support of the Energoatom Central Spent Nuclear Storage Faculty. I regret that I was unable to attend this important milestone. Many of you have worked very hard to get us here today and I thank you for your commitment.
I am very proud that OPIC has been able to support such an important project here in Ukraine. When I became the head of OPIC just a few months ago, the first international trip I took was to Ukraine. I was very impressed with what I saw here. Despite some challenges facing Ukraine, we see the potential for high-impact development projects here – particularly in the energy sector.
It is a pleasure for the United States to help move Ukraine towards energy independence by providing the capability to store spent nuclear fuel in-country, thus eliminating the need to ship the spent fuel to Russia for storage.
With total project costs of $410 million, Energoatom cannot self-finance the entire project. Therefore, OPIC has committed up to $250 million in political risk insurance to support the development, construction, and commissioning of the Energoatom Central Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility in Ukraine.
This storage facility will be developed to store spent fuel from three of Ukraine’s four nuclear power plants, offering an efficient and secure process. The United States-based company, Holtec International – located in Camden, New Jersey - will supply dry storage casks, transportation casks, ancillary equipment, and engineering and training to the facility over an expected five-year period.
I’d like to thank our partners at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch without whom this deal would not be possible. They will arrange for the sale of OPIC’s $250 million commitment in the U.S. capital markets in the form of fixed-rate bond securities. The proceeds will fund the 20-year loan to Energoatom. We are very pleased that Ukraine will support the OPIC-insured loan financing by issuing a sovereign guarantee for repayment of the loan.
This is the first OPIC deal structured in this fashion and we are pleased to partner on an innovatively financed project. By working together, we will help Ukraine meet its energy needs, while supporting the U.S. economy with the creation of manufacturing jobs.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity fund managers.
OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.