Russia Comes Up with New Ultimatum on Bulgaria's Belene NPP

Energy | June 9, 2011, Thursday // 19:28|  views

A file picture shows workers during the construction of the first 1,000 MW unit of the second nuclear plant of Belene, some 220 km from Sofia. Photo by EPA/BGNES

If a contract on the construction of Belene, Bulgaria's second nuclear power plant, is not signed by July 1, the project will become useless, a Russian official has said.

Construction has to be launched by March 2012, or otherwise Belene will be considered unprofitable for Russia, said Genadiy Tepkyan, deputy chair of Atomstroyexport, the Rosatom subsidiary that is supposed to build the plant, according to Komersant.

In November, Russia delivered a similar ultimatum, declaring Bulgaria has time until the spring to decide on its participation in the Belene Nuclear Power Plant and sign a final contract.

Back then, Sergey Kiriyenko, CEO of  Rosatom, stated that if the deadline is not met, the contractor on the project, Atomstroyexport, will redirect the equipment for the Belene NPP to another nuclear project and Russia will refuse to become a shareholder in the Bulgarian plant.

However, Russia stills shows interest to the project, occasionally issuing ultimatums.

Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of the Russian Rosatom company, has voiced its firm intentions to build the Belene NPP for a fixed price of EUR 6.298 B - stipulated in the Bulgarian-Russian memorandum of understanding signed in November 2010 - or for a base price of EUR 3.997 B plus escalation or inflation costs - stipulated in the intergovernmental agreement signed in January 2008.

According to Thursday's Komersant, Bulgaria will offer Moscow a 13th consecutive memorandum on postponing the deadline for signing the contract on Belene.

On Thursday, officials from the Bulgarian Economy and Energy Ministry did not comment the allegation, the Dnevnik daily reported.

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has generally insisted on a new price fearing that the provisions of the 2008 contract with the Russians made by his predecessor Sergey Stanishev had legal loopholes allowing the Russian company to demand additional sums of money for the Belene construction.

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Tags: Belene, Nuclear Power Plant, Atomstroyexport, Genadiy Tepkyan, Sergey Kiriyenko, Rosatom


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