HANOI, Vietnam, Oct. 17, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lightbridge Corporation (Nasdaq:LTBR), a U.S. nuclear energy company, and Vietnam's leading energy engineering consultant, Power Engineering Consulting Joint Stock Company 1 (PECC1) today signed a teaming agreement for consulting services related to construction and safe operation of a nuclear research reactor, which is planned as part of the country's Center for Nuclear Energy Science and Technology (CNEST). Financial terms are subject to further negotiation of the final scope of work.
"We are pleased and excited to work with Vietnam's preeminent energy engineering firm to establish the nation's nuclear laboratory and research reactor in accordance with the highest standards of safety, security and operational excellence," said Lightbridge President and Chief Executive Officer Seth Grae.
Founded in 1960, Hanoi-based PECC1 today employs more than 1,500 and has provided engineering advisory services on energy projects totaling more than 6,100 Mw and on numerous transmission and distribution and substation projects involving 500 kV, 220 kV and 110 kV lines.
Lightbridge's agreement with PECC1 is separate from a five-year cooperation agreement signed earlier today by Lightbridge and the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (VINATOM). Work under the five-year, Lightbridge/VINATOM agreement will support CNEST, Vietnam's nuclear science and technology center, a planned $500 million facility. The VINATOM agreement also stipulates support for nuclear quality assurance; research-reactor fuel selection; control-room operations; safeguards, control and accounting of nuclear material; and related training programs.
The Lightbridge/PECC1 agreement is another example of civil nuclear business development between the two nations facilitated by the recent U.S.-Vietnam agreement under Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act. The 123 agreement, which entered into force on October 3, establishes terms for commercial nuclear trade, and research and technology exchanges.
The Company provides comprehensive advisory services for established and emerging nuclear programs, based on transparency, non-proliferation, safety and operational excellence. In August, Lightbridge and the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS) signed a memorandum of understanding that calls for both parties to collaborate in the continued development of administrative, legal and regulatory infrastructure to support Vietnam's civil nuclear energy program. Lightbridge is the first U.S. company to work with VARANS on Vietnam's nuclear energy program. The parties agreed to the work by Lightbridge after a recent Asia commercial diplomacy trip led by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
Commercial nuclear energy opportunities in Vietnam are estimated at $10 billion and are expected to grow to $50 billion by 2030, according to U.S. Department of Commerce estimates. The second largest nuclear power market in Southeast Asia after China, Vietnam has declared its intention to supply more than 10% of national power demand from nuclear by 2030. Vietnam currently generates 32 GWe of electricity from hydro, coal and natural gas power plants. Plans call for construction of four nuclear reactors at two sites beginning later in this decade to generate approximately 4 GWe of electricity, according to the most current data compiled by the World Nuclear Association.
About Lightbridge Corporation
Lightbridge is a US nuclear energy company that develops proprietary, proliferation resistant, next generation nuclear fuel technologies for current and future nuclear reactor systems. The Company also provides comprehensive advisory services in several countries around the world for established and emerging nuclear programs based on a philosophy of transparency, non-proliferation, safety and operational excellence. Lightbridge's breakthrough fuel technology is establishing new global standards for safe and clean nuclear power and leading the way to a sustainable energy future. Lightbridge consultants provide integrated strategic advice and expertise across a range of disciplines including regulatory affairs, nuclear reactor procurement and deployment, reactor and fuel technology and international relations. The Company leverages those broad and integrated capabilities by offering its services to commercial entities and governments with a need to establish or expand nuclear industry capabilities and infrastructure.
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Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains statements that are forward-looking in nature within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the Company's competitive position and product and service offerings. These statements are based on current expectations on the date of this news release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ significantly from such estimates. The risks include, but are not limited to, the degree of market adoption of the Company's product and service offerings; market competition; dependence on strategic partners; and the Company's ability to manage its business effectively in a rapidly evolving market. Certain of these and other risks are set forth in more detail in Lightbridge's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lightbridge does not assume any obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as the result of new developments or otherwise.
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