Bulgarian EconMin to Ask Audit of Belene Nuclear Plant Loan

Energy | June 8, 2012, Friday // 19:22|  views

Bulgaria's Minister of Economy and Energy, Delyan Dobrev. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Minister of Economy and Energy, Delyan Dobrev, will ask the Public Financial Inspection Agency, ADFI, to audit a EUR 250 M loan taken in 2004 by the National Electric Company, NEK.

Dobrev made the statement Friday during the so-called parliamentary control session when members of the Cabinet answer questions from Members of the Parliament. It came after an inquiry of the Co-chair of the right-wing Blue Coalition, Martin Dimitrov, who stressed that as earlier as 2 months ago he had asked for information on exact expenses for the project to build a second Nuclear Power Plant, NPP, in the Danube town of Belene.

The project was officially abandoned in March 2012, by the government of the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.

Dimitrov insists to have an audit NEK and its management over his conviction that money destined for Belene was spent on something else.

It was announced at the time that the loan was going to be slated for a feasibility study on the NPP project, but it became clear later that the money has been used by NEK to cover current needs, including construction of the notorious hydroelectric power plant "Tsankov Kamak." The payment of the principal on the loan, taken from several banks, headed by the French BNP-Paribas, has been postponed by one year for May 2013. Dobrev explained the extension with better terms and conditions for the new date.

The Minister stressed that many audits were already conducted to find out how the money from the loan was spent and no violations have been discovered. He says this could be interpreted as a clause authorizing NEK to spend the credit for current needs as well.

Dobrev, however, explained that he would ask ADFI for a new audit in order to "clear all suspicions around this loan," and appealed to Dimitrov to do the same.

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Tags: Tsankov Kamak, audit, loan, GERB, feasibility study, Blue Coalition, Martin Dimitrov, project, Belene, NPP, NEK, Delyan Dobrev, Minister of Economy and Energy, ADFI


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