An official from Rosatom was quoted by the business daily Napi Gazdasag as saying that the company intended to fully finance the estimated 3 trillion forints ($12.4bn) construction cost of the plant.

The Hungarian government is expected to float the construction tender for up to 3,000 megawatts (MW) in new nuclear power capacity at the Paks site to augment an aging fleet of power stations.

The current plant at Paks, which is located 100km south of the capital Budapest, generates 2,000MW of electricity by using four Russian-made VVER reactors to provide power to about 40% of the country’s population.

Built in the 1980s, the Paks reactors are undergoing life span extension projects and are expected to generate power until 2030.

The new nuclear units are intended to increase Hungary’s reliance on nuclear power to 60% of the electricity mix, and are expected to be operational between 2020 and 2030.