Russia’s floating nuclear plant arrives in port

The Akademik Lomonosov, pictured leaaving the Arctic Port of Murmansk , is the world’s first floating nuclear power station. (AFP)
Updated 14 September 2019

Russia’s floating nuclear plant arrives in port

MOSCOW: Russia’s world-first floating nuclear power station on Saturday completed a 5,000 kilometer (3,100 mile) Arctic transfer to the country’s far east, the Rosatom nuclear agency said.

“The Akademik Lomonosov floating nuclear plant arrived ... at Pevek, in the autonomous district of Chukotka,” where it is to start operating by the end of the year, once connected to the local electricity grid, Rosatom added.

What will be the world’s northernmost nuclear power plant left Murmansk, the port city in the Arctic circle, in Russia’s far north on August 23 after being loaded with combustible nuclear fuel.

The 21 ton, 144 meter (470 feet) long and 30 meter wide platform, which is designed to meet the energy needs of remote communities, was towed into Pevek by a clutch of vessels.

The station houses two 35-megawatt reactors, more in line with the power of nuclear-powered ice breakers than typical new generation nuclear plants boasting nearer 1,000 megawatt capacity.

FASTFACT

100k

The Akademik Lomonosov floating nuclear power station is to provide energy for around 100,000 people.

The Akademik Lomonosov is to provide energy for around 100,000 people and also power oil platforms as Russia develops extraction of natural resources in a mineral-rich area whose eastern tip is a few dozen kilometers from Alaska.

“It is perhaps a small step toward sustainable development in the Arctic — but it’s a giant step toward decarbonization of remote, off-grid zones and a turning point in the global development of small modular nuclear plants,” Rosatom head Alexei Likhachev said in a statement.

Environmental groups led by Greenpeace Russia have, however, long criticized the project warning it will have “serious consequences” for a fragile ecosystem in case of storms or accidents.

Greenpeace has warned of the risk of a “nuclear Titanic” and “Chernobyl on ice” and environmental fears were heightened following an August explosion at a nuclear research facility in Russia’s far north which saw local radiation levels briefly spike.

The nuclear industry generally has been looking to reinvent itself in a depressed market, notably by producing small-scale, modular reactors with attractive price tags to win over potential new clients.

The industry has been cheered by strong demand notably for nuclear-powered submarines as well as ice-breakers and aircraft carriers, increasingly destined for isolated and infrastructure-poor regions.


Natixis opens investment banking office in Saudi Arabia

Updated 31 May 2020

Natixis opens investment banking office in Saudi Arabia

  • Western financial institutions have been seeking opportunities in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: French investment bank Natixis has opened a corporate and investment banking office in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh and appointed former JPMorgan banker Reema Al-Asmari as its chief executive officer, the bank said on Sunday.
Western financial institutions have been seeking opportunities in Saudi Arabia since the government unveiled plans to privatize state assets and introduced reforms to attract foreign capital under its Vision 2030 program to reduce the economy’s dependence on oil.
“By establishing a local presence, Natixis aims to deepen its relationships with its existing clients, including corporates, sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions, and to serve new clients, including family offices,” Natixis said in a statement.
The bank’s office, located in Al Faisaliah Tower, will offer “tailor-made capital markets products and investment banking services.”
Al-Asmari, who joined Natixis last August as an adviser to the bank’s Dubai branch, will continue to report to Simon Eedle, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking’s regional head for the Middle East.
Eedle said in a statement that the bank’s commitment to the Middle East dated back more than 20 years and he believed its areas of expertise were closely aligned with the needs of clients in the region. “This is very much the case for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, notably in the context of Vision 2030,” he said, adding it was a “pivotal time” for the kingdom.