Nuclear energy has gathered momentum over the past years as a low-carbon energy that contributes to the energy security, and which needs to be combined with renewables in order to be able to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, at least during the transition period. The lifetime of current reactors is generally being extended (some up to 80 years), a new generation of reactors is being constructed or planned in nuclear and new-comer countries, and vendors are innovating with brand new technologies, some of which should help energy-intensive industries to decarbonize.
As one of the world's premier providers of legal services to the global energy markets, White & Case is at the forefront of energy transition and brings unrivaled experience and depth of resources to our clients' projects across the nuclear fuel cycle. We work with different nuclear players (such as governments, sponsors, operators, vendors and offtakers) to address the new challenges, develop their projects, find innovative financial solutions, assess the regulatory and legal framework, design the commercial contracts relevant to such a complex industry, structure and execute mergers & acquisitions, and represent them in high-stakes disputes and arbitration. We understand the complex coordination required at all stages of a nuclear project.
We have a longstanding record of successfully delivering "first-of-its-kind" transactions in emerging markets and sectors around the world. There will be a number of “first-of-its-kind” transactions in the nuclear sector in the near future, such as structuring new financing schemes, developing small-modular reactors and protecting the technical innovations under development. Given our deep experience in addressing the challenges of new technologies in the energy industry, coupled with our market-leading capabilities in the global energy sector, we have the unique skill set necessary for navigating clients through the complexities of developing and financing projects in this resurgent sector.
White & Case is at the forefront of energy transition. The imperative to reduce carbon emissions and to find ways to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere is becoming ever-more acute. Clients from the oil & gas, industrial manufacturing, power generation, gas transportation, infrastructure and financing sectors come to us for advice on everything from the permitting and real estate issues involved, through financing and construction, to the carbon-trading mechanisms that can support these huge investments.
Representation of Nasdaq-listed nuclear fuel technology company Lightbridge in a joint venture dispute with French nuclear reactor company Framatome, a subsidiary of Électricité de France (EDF).
Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA
Advising Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA in respect of the procurement of two nuclear power plants from China National Nuclear Corporation. Our role included advising on procurement structures, key areas of risk, and approaches to risk allocation and assistance with drafting a single EPC contract in order to allow the construction of the two NPPs in separate phases.
Representation of China Development Bank and Bank of China Limited in connection with the financing of the Taishan NPP, the first EPR project in China. In the first phase, we advised on an appr. US$2.5 billion financing to purchase equipment and technology from Areva and Alstom for an NPP. In the second phase, we advised on the structuring, negotiation and drafting of the financing documentation in connection with a US$4.9 billion syndicated loan facility to finance the procurement and construction of the Taishan NPP.
Representation of the Agency for the Development of Nuclear Energy (UzAtom) in connection with the first NPP construction project in Uzbekistan, with a capacity of 2.4 GWe.
Representation of Nukem, Inc. in connection with various issues related to its nuclear activities in Kazakhstan, including the establishment of a Kazakh joint venture with NAC Kazatomprom.
Saudi Power Procurement Company
Representation of Saudi Power Procurement Company, as an offtaker, in connection with the procurement, construction, operation and maintenance of a new NPP in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Major large-scale nuclear project
Representation of the lenders in connection with the financing of a major multibillion-dollar large-scale nuclear project in Europe.
Representation of Taisei Corporation, as a member of a contractor consortium consisting of Taisei Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, in the drafting and negotiation of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the construction of the 5,000 MWe Sinop NPP in Türkiye.
Representation of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority in connection with the development of the US$35 billion Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi, UAE. This 5,668 MWe project represents the UAE's first nuclear energy project and is one of the largest in the world.
Representation of Fortum Power and Heat Oy in connection with the development of the Loviisa 3 nuclear power unit on Hästholem Island in Loviisa, Finland.
Representation of the owner in the replacement of two existing NPPs in Switzerland, including advising on project procurement strategies, preparing the prequalification invitation for the plant contracts, advising on the tendering process, advising on the evaluation of bids and assisting in the preparation of the evaluation report.
Representation of ESKOM in relation to a multibillion-dollar NPP project and a fleet of nuclear plant options on the African continent, including long-term strategy, preparing tender packages, EPC contracts, and nuclear fuel supply and enriched uranium product contracts, evaluating tender proposals and negotiating with the bidders.
Slovenské elektrárne, a.s.
Representation of ČEZ in connection with its bid to acquire Slovenské elektrárne, a.s., a major Slovak energy company, from the Slovak government. The transaction involved significant advice on energy regulatory issues, including radioactive waste management regulation and hydro energy generation. We also advised on European and local merger control implications and state aid approvals.
Representation of Škoda JS a.s. in connection with the bidding and construction of a multi-billion-euro 880 MWe capacity NPP in Mochovce, Slovakia.
Representation of Bawag Bank CZ (currently LBBW a.s.) in connection with the provision of a loan to Slovenské elektrárne, a.s. in order to finance the completion of the Mochovce NPP.
Representation of HSBC Bank plc in connection with the provision of a bank guarantee facility insured by EGAP for the purpose of the issuance of bank guarantees in connection with the delivery by ŠKODA JS a.s. of two new units for the Mochovce NPP in Slovakia. Our assignment further included review and negotiations of the EPC contract for the delivery of nuclear islands for the two new units of the Mochovce NPP.
Representation of ČEZ in connection with US$370 million term credit facility arranged by a syndicate of foreign banks led by Citibank International Plc. and guaranteed by the US Export-Import Bank for the financing of the Temelín NPP.
Representation of the joint venture company formed by Nuclearelectrica, ArcelorMittal, ČEZ, GDFSuez, Enel, Iberdola and RWE, latterly EnergoNuclear S.A., in all aspects related to the pre-project phase for the development, construction and operation of units 3 and 4 of Cernavodă NPP. Estimated at appr. €4 billion, this is one of the most important projects rolled out in Romania. Our assistance included a wide variety of aspects, such as regulatory, licensing, financing, public procurement and contracts.
Representation of Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO), a Finnish electricity producer, in the Olkiluoto 3 EPR (OL3) project in Finland. This included providing advice and support at all levels, from day-to-day issues with the engineers and contracts administrators onsite, to commercial and legal strategic advice to senior management. We have also advised in relation to contract administration, licensing issues, project claims management and multiple disputes with the turnkey supplier that have been the subject of numerous adjudications/ expert determinations and arbitrations, including a multibillion-euro ICC arbitration.
Électricité de France
Representation of Électricité de France (EDF)'s lenders in relation to the acquisition of British Energy by EDF for £12.4 billion in the United Kingdom. British Energy owned and operated eight units with a combined capacity of almost 9,000 MWe. We also advised on nuclear liability issues, environmental issues and applicable regulatory framework as part of the transaction, as well as complex governmental regulatory requirements, for which we undertook an extensive due diligence exercise.
Representation of a client in connection with liability issues related to the supply contract between ŠKODA JS a.s. and Areva in relation to the construction of the Oskarshamn NPP in Sweden.
Representation of ČEZ, a.s. in its bid for the sale of its minority equity stake in the project company involved in the Belene NPP in Bulgaria.
Representation of ČEZ, a.s. regarding the negotiation of amendments to the agreement on performance enhancement of the Dukovany NPP in the Czech Republic.
Representation of ŠKODA JS a.s. in connection with the EPC contract (and amendments thereto) for the delivery of nuclear islands for the two new units of the Mochovce NPP in Slovakia. The project advice covered, among other things, the public procurement phase, the EPC contract negotiation phase as well as the EPC contract implementation, including numerous amendments to the EPC contract.
Representation of NEK, Bulgaria's national electricity company, in two ICC arbitrations with €1 billion in dispute against Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom, resulting from Bulgaria's decision to cancel the plant to build an NPP at Belene.
Representing a large European employer in an adjudication proceeding against one of its contractors involving a delay-related dispute in the context of a significant nuclear power project.
Nuclear liability & insurance
Advising on nuclear liability issues worldwide.