The registered capital of Paks 2 Zrt., the company responsible for organizing the construction of two new nuclear reactors at the Paks atomic energy plant, is to be increased by HUF 113 billion (USD 418 million) next year according to the 2016 budget.
At his weekly press conference on Thursday Chancellor János Lázár announced that Hungary would begin drawing down on the EUR 10 billion loan from Russia in 2016. When asked by daily news portal nol.hu why it was necessary for the company to spend HUF 28 billion (USD 104 million) on the project in 2015, the Chancellor did not give a clear answer.
The news portal points out that government commissioner Attila Aszódi told the parliamentary technical committee last week that the permit for the site would not be ready until the end of 2017, and that the construction would not start before 2018. For this reason, nol.hu does not believe the project could cost hundreds of billions of forints in 2016.
The Chancellor said the project included the cost of building a new bridge across the Danube at Kalocsa so that contractors can quickly access the construction site from the other side of the river. However, nol.hu points out that there are already bridges above and below Paks at Dunaföldvár and Szekszárd, respectively, the latter of which is hardly used. While some seven thousand people are projected to work on the project during the construction, once completed there will hardly be any traffic between Paks and Kalocsa, the left-wing daily observes.
The Chancellor also mentioned that Tamás Bán (pictured) had been chosen to replace Sándor Nagy as Paks 2 Zrt. CEO. Whereas Nagy was clearly qualified for the position, Bán does not appear to be qualified, writes nol.hu A lawyer by training, Bán has worked as a secretary for the president of the Constitutional Court, as a judge for the Pest Central District court, as a state bank supervisor, at the Paks atomic energy plant, at Kész Holding and at Sandor Demján’s Pólus Holding. By contrast his predecessor was a mechanical engineer by training who had risen up though the ranks of the atomic energy hierarchy.
Nol.hu reports that Bán is a loyal Fidesz cadre (which we take to mean that he will do what he’s told and keep his mouth shut.-ed.).
Lázár confirmed that the government had engaged an international headhunter to recruit three new top managers for Paksi Atomerőmű Zrt. responsible for marketing Hungary’s clean electricity abroad and decreasing the costs of its production.