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Decommissioning Consultant for Nuclear Power Plant Safety Upgrade Program

 | Published September 7, 2016  -  Deadline September 28, 2016
cpvs

Background: Ukraine relies heavily on nuclear power for energy supply with nuclear energy supplying 57.7% of its total electricity production of 82,6 billion kWh in 2015. All operating Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are under the authority of the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company ”Energoatom” (“EA”), the country's state-owned nuclear power utility, subordinated to the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine, in charge of the policy in the nuclear sector. The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspection of Ukraine (SNRIU) is the Regulatory Authority for Nuclear Safety in Ukraine.

There are currently 15 nuclear power units in operation in Ukraine at four NPPs of the following design: VVER-440/V-213 (Rivne-1,2), VVER-1000/V-302 and 338 (South Ukraine -1 and 2 respectively), VVER-1000/V-320 (11 power units on the sites of NPPs at Zaporozhe, Rivne, Khmeltnitsky, South Ukraine). The total installed electric power capacity of NPPs is 13,835 MW or 25,3% of the total installed national capacity.

The majority of the units were built in Soviet times and most of the units have been in operation for more than 20 years. After the final shutdown of these power units, there will be the need to dismantle the equipment, decontaminate and demolish these nuclear facilities as well as to undertake processing, conditioning and disposal of radioactive waste and to manage spent fuel (“Decommissioning”). It is of paramount importance that the funding of these decommissioning activities will be adequate and available when needed in order to avoid negatively affecting the safety and security of all stakeholders. EA is expected to accumulate all the necessary financial resources in the Decommissioning Fund (“the Fund”) during the operating life of the nuclear facilities.

Assignment Description: State Enterprise "National Nuclear Energy Generating Company "Energoatom" (SE NNEGC "Energoatom" or the Client) intends to engage a consultant to provide support to the Ukrainian National Body in how it reviews analyses and quantifies required contributions to the Decommissioning Fund to cover the liabilities associated with the decommissioning of EA’s nuclear installations. The National Body is the end user of work results, independent as regards the contributors to the Fund, responsible for assessment of costs of Decommissioning, the amounts to be contributed to the Decommissioning Fund and its management.

The Consultant will, inter alia, provide a critical assessment of the following:
I.
Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations
II.
Institutional and Procedural Aspects
III. Decommissioning Fund
IV. Estimation of Decommissioning Costs
V. Use of Decommissioning Fund Means

The objective of this consultancy assignment is to provide support to a Ukrainian National Body in how it reviews analyses and quantifies required contributions to the Decommissioning Fund to cover the liabilities associated with the decommissioning of Energoatom's nuclear installations.

The Consultant will perform the following tasks:

I. Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations

1) Review Ukrainian National Decommissioning Strategy and provide recommendations on factors that may impact the strategy, i.e. available waste management routes, stakeholder values, technical complexity and risks, operation history of each reactor, including life extension beyond the term foreseen by the initial design, available skills and experience, local community involvement, legal and regulatory framework, etc.

2) Review Ukrainian Waste Management Strategy and provide recommendations on its management, i.e., exposure to personnel and public, established national, European and international norms and conventions.

3) Review the cost issues associated with spent fuel, particularly in relation to evacuation from the site and interim storages and treatment and/or disposal.

4) Establish a clear picture as to how the issues of operational spent fuel, the last core, and interim storage and disposal of spent fuel are to be addressed and provide recommendations on all aspects of spent fuel management and liability.

5) Review EA's involvement in the financing of the management of spent fuel in line with the "polluter pays principle".

6) Review the schedule of decommissioning expenses and opine whether the accumulation of funds reflects the schedule in line with the underlying decommissioning strategy and plan.

7) Identify for each nuclear facility the binding individual responsibilities eg. who contributes to the Fund, who manages the Fund and what are their corresponding rights and duties.

8) Review available financial resources and opine whether they cover all aspects of decommissioning activities, from technical decommissioning of the installation to waste management (waste management costs are also to be considered as part of the decommissioning activities as are the spent fuel costs, including maintenance of disposal storages).

II. Institutional and Procedural Aspects

1) Review EA’ plans to make investments in a nuclear facility (new facility, or significant change in an existing facility) and verify that these plans include decommissioning investments.

2) Establish whether the National Body possesses both technical and financial expertise to perform its functions. In the case of a missing expertise, the National Body should hire this from outside (ex. advice on fund management from banking or accountancy sector).

3) Establish whether the National Body is fully independent of the contributor to, and the manager of the Fund.

4) Examine how the National Body reviews the accumulated financial resources and the decommissioning cost estimates. Propose mechanisms on how the shortfall between the cost estimates and accumulated resources should be addressed in good time.

5) The review of financial resources should be performed against: a) cost assessment, prepared considering a defined decommissioning strategy and plan; b) trajectory for the constitution of the assets of the Fund, defined to match the expected full cost of decommissioning (eg: payments collected during a certain period of time, or assets constituted when the plan is put in operation).

6) Identify how the National Body reviews the trajectory for the constitution of assets considering its ability to match the identified full cost when needed. It should consider the underlying assumptions of inflation or discounting rates, and the anticipated rate-of-return from the Fund.

7) Propose corrective measures in case of a shortfall (additional payments, update of the trajectory e.g. by raising the fees…), which should be implemented in the short-term, especially in the case of a substantial shortfall (e.g.: a rise in the estimated decommissioning cost, contrary to a temporary loss on the markets a long time before the schedule of decommissioning, for which a period of time of a few year could be tolerated to regularise the situation).

8) If a shortfall appears concerning waste/spent fuel management operations, best practice (the polluter pays principle) would suggest that the operator should fund the shortfall. Propose provisions that must be foreseen in case when such a solution is not possible.

9) Review the arrangements for payments to the Fund and responsibilities for the fund management.

10) Propose an over-coverage margin structure to buffer normal market fluctuations in the value of the Fund; alternatively additional payments could be considered in case of insufficiency.

III. Decommissioning Fund

1) Define clearly the parties responsible for the build-up of the Fund assets. The time frame for this build-up could extend over the entire expected exploitation period. Shorter periods are however not excluded and are in fact a means of safeguarding against unforeseen cases such as early closure of a nuclear facility.

2) Establish contingencies for the cases of early closure and plant life extension should be considered in the planning of the fund.

3) Propose the reassessment/readjustment of the assets’ build-up trajectory in case when a decision is taken to reduce the exploitation period of the nuclear facility.

4) Review the mechanisms for the protection of the Fund; the establishment of a "segregated" fund may not in itself constitute sufficient protection. Identify additional legally binding protective measures which should be put in place to protect the Fund against such cases as the bankruptcy of EA.

5) Prudent management should aim to achieve a fully adequate financial value for the Fund at the time when the funds are required. Propose a secure risk profile in the investment of the fund’s assets, ensuring that a positive return is achieved over any given period of time: a) low-risk assets should be eligible; b) high-risk assets could also be permissible with constraints on their prudent risk exposure and their level of diversification.

IV. Estimation of Decommissioning Costs

1) Provide an assessment of whether all costs (decommissioning and waste related inventories, services of outside organizations, labour payment etc.) are covered either as operational costs or under the Fund and if this issue is controlled by the National Body.

2) Review the decommissioning funding plan (DFP) and establish what inventories are to be covered by the Fund and which should fall under the EA's operational responsibilities.

3) Provide an assessment of whether the full decommissioning costs include the long-run management costs (e.g. the issue of “disposal” in the scope for radioactive waste and spent fuel should be addressed).

4) Review the costing methodology and detailed costs of decommissioning applied by the National Body and make specific recommendations based on the NEA-EC-IAEA joint publication "International Structure for Decommissioning Costing (ISDC) of Nuclear Installations”.

5) When reviewing the costing methodology and its related assumptions, propose a "site specific" detailed cost breakdown while the costs for multiple nuclear unit sites should be broken down to the unit level.

6) Propose corrective measures in cases when the costs of decommissioning increase during the operational life of the facility and EA shall be held responsible for these increased costs and should make a correction to the Fund to cover the full liability.

7) Identify events such as the change of the operator during the operational lifetime and the end of service as significant events in the life of the Fund which demand a full reassessment of its adequacy.

V. Use of Decommissioning Fund

1) Make recommendations in line with the concept that financial resources should be used only for the purpose for which they have been accumulated. In this context, due consideration should be given to transparency. All commercially non-sensitive information should be publicly available.

2) The term "purpose for which they have been accumulated" should be understood as

"Decommissioning". Furthermore, decommissioning funds may only be used for the detailed purpose for which they have been accumulated as defined in the final decommissioning plan and not for any other purpose.

3) Identify the role of the National Body in respect of the issue of transparency during the decommissioning phase in monitoring and reviewing that the funds are used correctly.

4) Advise that the Fund's asset build-up strategy should take into account reasonable assumptions regarding inflation and the anticipated rate of return.

5) Identify the role of the National Body in the financial risk assessment to verify that it conforms to the concept of a secure risk profile.

6) Propose a mechanism under which the value of the investments should be guaranteed by the State in order to ensure that adequate funds are available when required, even if a nominal loss is made by the independent manager of the invested amounts by the time these financial resources are to be used.

General

The Consultant will alert the Client, the EBRD and the Decommissioning National Body to any emerging problems and risks which will be discovered during the course of the review of items I to V, be they of a technical, regulatory, or financial nature which have the potential to jeopardise the accumulation of funds to cover the liabilities related to the decommissioning of nuclear installations of EA. This review should be conducted by fully independent experts with proven experience in assignments of a similar nature.

The review should be made as of the end of the penultimate quarter preceding the date of signing the Contract.


Assignment Duration: The assignment is expected to start in October 2016 and to be completed by the end of 2016.

Cost Estimate for the Assignment: EUR 74,900; exclusive of VAT.

The Consultant must determine whether any indirect taxes/VAT are chargeable on the proposed services and state the basis for such. If any indirect taxes/VAT are payable, the Client will have to pay indirect taxes/VAT element to the services directly to the Consultant unless otherwise agreed.
Funding Source: It is anticipated that the contract will be financed through EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.

Eligibility: There are no nationality eligibility restrictions.

Consultant Profile: The consultant will be a firm or consortium and shall have relevant experience The consultant will be a consulting nuclear engineering firm or a consortium of firms providing experts with relevant experience and professional qualifications in nuclear industry, preferably in the Bank’s countries of operation or similar environments. The team of experts will include the following the minimum experience and expertise:

· A Senior Nuclear Engineer with a technical degree and minimum of 10 years of experience in nuclear power industry and with in-depth knowledge of the nuclear power plant decommissioning and management;

· A Nuclear Engineer with a technical degree, experience in the nuclear power industry and knowledge of the Ukrainian nuclear regulatory environment, particularly as it is related to the decommissioning of nuclear installations; and

· A Financial Decommissioning Expert with a minimum of 10 years of experience in nuclear industry and good understanding of the decommissioning costing methodologies of nuclear installations.


Submission Requirements: In order to determine the capability and experience of Consultants seeking to be selected, the information submitted should include the following:

1. Company/group of firms' profile, organisation and staffing (max. 2-4 pages).

2. Details of previous project experience or similar assignments particularly undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contract value, contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided (if different from duration) , main activities, objectives.

3. CVs of key experts who could carry out the Assignment detailing qualifications, experience in similar assignments, particularly assignments undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided, assignment budget, main activities, objectives.
4. Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link:

http://www.ebrd.com/pages/workingwithus/procurement/notices/csu/contact_sheet.doc.

The expression of interest shall not exceed 25 pages (excluding CVs Consultant Declaration and Contact Sheet).

Expressions of Interest should be submitted, in English, electronically through eSelection.

The EBRD Contact Person:
Larissa Gosling
Technical Co-operation
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
Tel: + 44 20 7338 6338

E-mail: goslingl@ebrd.com


Important Notes:

1. Selection and contracting will normally be made from responses to this notification. Shortlisted consultants will not be invited to submit proposals. The consultant will be selected from a shortlist of qualified consultants and invited to contract negotiations.

2. The evaluation criteria and weightings are as follows:

(a) Firm's previous project experience in nuclear industry in assignments of a comparable nature, scale and complexity [30%];
(b) Firm's previous project experience in Ukraine and other EBRD countries of operations [20%];
(d) CVs of Experts proposed for the Assignment [50%].

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