PARIS (Reuters) - Russia's state-owned nuclear company Rosatom is offering a special package deal to build and operate nuclear power stations abroad in a bid to win business from developing countries, a company official was quoted on Monday as saying.
The offer to "Build, Own, Operate" (BOO), also includes financing to countries seeking to build nuclear plants.
Rosatom, a major competitor for groups like Areva, Toshiba-owned Westinghouse and Japan's Mitsubishi Corp. has built nuclear reactors abroad in the past, but has so far handed over their operation to domestic utilities.
Deputy Chief Executive Nikolai Spassky told French daily Le Figaro the formula was crucial for selling reactors to developing countries that do not yet have their own nuclear sector and trained staff.
"With this model, we are fully responsible for the plant's security," Spassky was quoted as saying.
Spassky said the nuclear plants Rosatom sold to Turkey in May would be the first to be operated this way, and added that the company was looking to sell more plants in other emerging markets.
Under the BOO model, Rosatom not only builds the nuclear plant, but also owns it and runs it for up to sixty years. Rosatom also delivers nuclear fuel to the plants.
The paper said Rosatom is currently building or has signed contracts for 19 reactors outside Russia. It has built or is building a nuclear plant for Iran that has been drawn into the international dispute about Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Spassky said Rosatom's VVER has safety features similar to Westinghouse's AP1000 reactor and Areva's EPR.
Rosatom's Turkish nuclear plant will be the country's first when it becomes operational in 2019. Earlier this month, the country also awarded a $22 billion (14.3 billion pounds) deal to a Japanese-French consortium to build a second nuclear power plant.