On March 9, the final offer for the construction of the nuclear research and radioisotope production reactor Pallas was made to the Dutch authorities, who will announce the bid winner by the end of October, 2017. In 2009, a similar contest was held for the same reactor and INVAP was selected for submitting the best offer; however, the transaction was later interrupted by the customer due to the global crisis at the time.
In March this year, there was another invitation to tender and INVAP made a new offer together with a Dutch company that would be in charge of the civil engineering works. As in the 2009 bid, companies from France and South Korea are also taking part, which together with INVAP are among the select group of firms leading the development of this kind of reactors.
On this occasion, apart from INVAP’s background in this field and its excellent technical proposal, the contribution of the national and provincial governments, through the legislature and the executive branch, was fundamental.
On the one hand, the deal was possible thanks to the unanimous approval of Law 5218 by the province of Río Negro increasing the guarantee for INVAP’s exporting projects up to 100 million US dollars, which is essential to get the bank guarantees required for international agreements.
Besides, both the letter of total support to the company’s offer written by Mr. Alberto Weretilneck, Governor of Río Negro (province owner of INVAP), and the one signed by Lic. Marcos Peña, Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers, on behalf of the national government, were exceptionally favorable.
Another significant contribution were President Mauricio Macri’s support to INVAP and negotiations with the main representatives of Holland during his visit to that country in March this year.
The company’s wide experience in the manufacture of nuclear research reactors won Argentina international recognition as a leading nuclear supplier. Good examples are the ten years of correct operation of the OPAL reactor built for Australia and the award INVAP received for its achievements by the Nuclear Energy Institute during the fourth edition of the Nuclear Security Summit in 2016.