Bulgarian PM Keeps Comparing Sofia Metro and Belene NPP

Energy | August 31, 2012, Friday // 15:59|  views

Bulgarian EU Commissioner Georgieva (left), PM Borisov (middle) and EC President Barroso riding on the new line of the Sofia Metro. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has boasted that the newly opened second line of the Sofia Metro costs about half of the money spent by Bulgaria on the unrealized project for a second nuclear power plant in Belene.

Borisov opened the second line of the Sofia Metro – built with EU funding - together with EC President Jose Manuel Barroso.

He reiterated his "apples-and-oranges" comparison of Sofia Metro and the Belene NPP project in an apparent attempt to justify his government's decision to dump it at the end of March 2012 after years of squabbling for strategic investors.

"When people today ride the metro, they should know that it costs half the price that we paid for the "pond" in Belene, especially when they talk about a referendum," the Bulgarian PM stated in his own way of referring to the abandoned Belene construction site, and the fact that the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party collected over 700 000 signatures, a legally-binding number, to support a petition for a referendum on the fate of the Belene project.

"Let's compare what we can do with our money for the citizens of Bulgaria for the next years, and whether we should enslave them there [with the Belene NPP], with BGN 22 B, because we are now really fighting to get EUR 14 B [in EU funding] for the next programming period, which is about the same sum of money we are ready to pour in Belene," Borisov said.

He further stated that the cost of the two projects is "a little incompatible and unmeasurable".

On another energy topic, the Bulgarian PM said he was glad EC President Jose Manuel Barroso registered the fact that the EU-funded Bulgaria-Romania gas interconnection pipeline is indeed diversifying Bulgaria's energy supplies, together with the contract signed with a Total-led consortium for the exploration of oil and gas deposits in the Black Sea, and the upcoming building of gas interconnections with Greece and Turkey.

"I really rely on the fact that in the follow up of our conversation we will reach a commitment to work together on the project for the extension of the Sofia Metro to the Sofia International Airport and the construction of a high-speed tram line," Borisov concluded, apparently referring to the future third line of the Sofia Metro, whose exact nature remains unknown as of yet.

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Tags: Sofia metro, Belene NPP, NPP, Nuclear Power Plant, Jose Manuel Barroso, EC President, Bulgaria-Romania gas interconnection, Bulgaria-Turkey pipeline, Sofia International Airport, Sofia Airport, Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister


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