Rosatom Launches JV with Hungary’s MVM Group to Help Extend Services in Hungary and Broader European Market

On July 13, Rusatom Service – a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned nuclear company, Rosatom – announced that, in the previous week, it had launched a new joint venture unit with Hungarian state-owned power company, MVM Group, which is intended to help the two firms extend logistics and maintenance services to power plant systems in Hungary and the broader European market.  As a result, the new 50/50 joint venture, called European Power Services Ltd., will apparently serve as a vehicle for Rosatom to extend and expand the influence it has already carved out as the primary developer of Hungary’s sole nuclear power plant, Paks II, to other projects and other markets, in collaboration with MVMMVM has a dominant 60% share of the domestic Hungarian energy market and is reportedly the third largest entity in Hungary.

Rosatom’s partnership with MVM follows a number of recent forays into the European market by MVM, which include the recent acquisition of the Czech electricity and gas retail unit of German company, E.ON SE (which occurred on July 11, 2020).  This followed a statement on June 4 that the company was interested in acquiring energy assets across Eastern Europe.  That same day, the company signed two Memorandums of Understanding in Serbia with Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) and Srbijagas (after earlier opening a new office).

It is not immediately clear if the new joint venture with Rusatom Service would have roles to play in these and other of MVM Group’s activities beyond Hungary, but, based on the announcement of the new partnership, this seems likely.  Moreover, it also seems likely that, if Rosatom feels disadvantaged or under scrutiny for reasons of political risk in certain of these other markets, that operating in partnership with MVM might offer some strategic benefit.