Bulgaria 'Strangely' Unwilling to Pay for Belene NPP - Rosatom

Energy | September 13, 2012, Thursday // 19:11|  views

Russian state company Atomstroyexport has cautioned that Bulgaria faces huge penalties for the termination of the Belene NPP project. Photo by BGNES

Russian energy giant Rosatom has termed as "strange" the claims of the Bulgarian government that it has intention of paying the equipment produced by the Russian side for the scrapped Belene NPP project.

"I treat all of our clients with great respect. However, it is a strange situation because they refuse to pay for what they ordered and it is contained in documents. The statements of representatives of the Bulgarian government that "we plan not to pay" also strike me as "strange", says Kiril Komarov, deputy head of Rossatom, as cited by RIA Novosti.

Komarov reminds that the Belene NPP project was launched in 2006 and all of the main documents were signed in 2008, including the documents for the preparation of the equipment.

"So far we have not received from the Bulgarian side a notification or a proposal to undo these contracts, which is why work on the equipment continues. Over the past 3 years, the major portion of the equipment has been completed. It is not a responsibility of the plants to store the equipment they produced. The Bulgarian customer may go for anything, be it to build Belene NPP or not. All we want is to get paid for the equipment and we can send it to the customer on the very same day. What the customer does with the shipment is their problem. The customer may put the equipment into a museum or use it at the Kozloduy NPP," Komarov said".

On September 11, Russia's Atomstroyexport said in a statement that it was upping the claim against Bulgaria's National Electric Company (NEK) over the early termination of the Belene NPP project to EUR 1 B.

Rosatom, a subsidiary of Atomstroyexport, the Russian contractor selected to build the Belene NPP, filed a lawsuit for EUR 58 M against Bulgaria's NEK at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris in the summer of 2011.

The contract for the construction of the 2000-MW Belene NPP was signed in 2006 with Russian state company Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom, by the coalition Cabinet of PM Sergey Stanishev.

However, the construction made little congress because of constant price haggling between Bulgaria and Russia, and in 2009 German company RWE, which was supposed to provide EUR 2 B for the project as a strategic investor, pulled out.

The Borisov Cabinet, which took over in 2009, technically continued the search for strategic investors but in March 2012 it announced it was ending the Belene NPP, labeling it "economically unfeasible".

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Tags: Rosatom, Atomstroyexport, Belene NPP, kiril komarov, International Court of Arbitration in Paris, claim


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