Tours Cernavoda Nuclear Facility, Attends Signing Ceremony to Modernize Romania’s Civil Nuclear Program, and Engages with Romanian Business Community During Two-Day Visit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 10, 2020
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BUCHAREST – Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed yesterday met with Interim Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă at the Victory Palace (Palatul Victoria) as part of a two-day visit to Romania. They focused on strengthening the U.S.-Romanian relationship through the export of U.S. goods and services, including energy, transportation, and infrastructure. This was the first official external meeting for the Interim Prime Minister following his appointment to the position by President Klaus Iohannis on Monday.
Joining the meeting were U.S. Ambassador to Romania Adrian Zuckerman, U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for International Nuclear Energy Policy and Cooperation Aleshia Duncan, Romania’s Vice Prime Minister Raluca Turcan, and Romania’s Minister of Economy, Energy, and the Business Environment Virgil Popescu.
EXIM Chairman Kimberly Reed with Romanian Interim Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă
“It was an honor to meet with Interim Prime Minister Ciucă of Romania and discuss strengthening the strategic partnership and economic ties between our two countries,” said Chairman Reed. “We focused on our new $7 billion MOU and how EXIM can support U.S. exports for projects in Romania like Cernavoda, Via Carpathia, Rail2Sea, and energy infrastructure.”
“I am pleased with the positive developments registered this year in our bilateral cooperation. Deepening all the dimensions of this collaboration represents objectives assumed at the highest level,” said Interim Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă. “I reaffirm the support of the President of Romania and the Government of Romania for the Three Seas Initiative. The implementation of I3M’s priority interconnection projects, with US support and involvement, can provide important support for the post-pandemic economic recovery and strengthen the resilience of some important areas for national security. At the same time, a solid economic presence of the USA in Romania is a strong signal of encouragement to other foreign investors interested in business opportunities in our country. In this context, I emphasize the importance of the priority implementation of the Constanța-Gdansk railway project (Rail2Sea), a transnational project with strategic impact on economic development, but also with implications for ensuring military mobility between NATO’s North and South Eastern Flank, as well as the need to implement the road project Via Carpathia.”
During the meeting, Chairman Reed joined DAS Duncan as she witnessed the signing of an Intergovernmental Agreement between the United States and Romania to help expand and modernize Romania’s civil nuclear program. The agreement, which was initialed in Washington, D.C. in October 2020 by U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and Minster Popescu, lays the foundation for Romania to utilize U.S. expertise in modernizing the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant and underscores the importance of the strategic partnership between the United States and Romania and the mutual commitment to energy security in the region.
U.S.-Romania Intergovernmental Agreement Signing Ceremony (l-r): Romania’s Vice Prime Minister Turcan, Interim Prime Minister Ciucă, Minister of Economy, Energy, and the Business Environment Popescu, U.S. Amb. to Romania Zuckerman, U.S. Dept. of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary Duncan, EXIM Chairman Reed
During her visit to Romania, Chairman Reed, Ambassador Zuckerman, and DAS Duncan also visited the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant, where they toured the facility and discussed with Nuclearelectrica CEO Cosmin Ghita how EXIM support of U.S. exports could help modernize the facility.
“The Cernavoda success comes in the aftermath of the rejection of a plan for a nuclear power entity in the People’s Republic of China to undertake this project. I am happy that Romania rejected Beijing’s predatory financing and is working with the United States through EXIM and the U.S. Department of Energy on a better, more reliable, alternative at Cernavoda,” said Chairman Reed. “In 1981, President Ronald Reagan determined that it was in the United States’ national interest for EXIM to extend a $121 million credit to the Socialist Republic of Romania for the purchase of generators for the Cernavoda Nuclear Power Station, and, today, Cernavoda now supplies 20% of Romania’s electricity, and I look forward to discussing how EXIM can best help in financing such projects. Our agency is committed to supporting opportunities for the export of U.S. goods and services—including in the energy, transportation, and infrastructure sectors—to Romania.”
Chairman Reed and Nuclearelectrica CEO Cosmin Ghita in front of a steam-turbine generator provided by General Electric and installed at the Cernavoda Power Plant in 1994
During the visit, Chairman Reed also met with Romania’s Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Communications Lucian Bode and attended a dinner hosted by Ambassador Zuckerman for the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce in Romania, which represents over 450 members, including U.S. based, international and Romanian companies that are doing business in Romania.
EXIM was also represented in Romania by EXIM Special Advisor Edward Newburn and EXIM Press Secretary Kelsey Koberg.
In October 2020, Chairman Reed and Minister Popescu signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at enhancing trade and economic opportunities between the two countries. Under the MOU, EXIM and Romania agree to explore and identify options to potentially use EXIM financing in a total aggregate amount of up to $7 billion—the largest MOU in EXIM’s history—and to identify areas to work together to promote business development opportunities, particularly in the energy and infrastructure industries.
Over the past month, Chairman Reed also met with Romanian Ambassador to the United States George Cristian Maior and spoke with Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu on the economic growth in Romania and EXIM support of exports to the country.
EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to support sales of U.S. goods and services to international buyers. A robust EXIM can level the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive support from their governments. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth by helping to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. In recent years, approximately 90 percent of the total number of the agency’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt.
For more information about EXIM, please visit www.exim.gov.