Russia Still Seeking to Revive Bulgarian Belene N-Plant Project

Energy | June 20, 2013, Thursday // 18:22|  views

Head of Russia`s nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergey Kiriyenko. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Russian state-owned company Rosatom has once again declared it is eager to construct Bulgaria’s second nuclear power plant.

“A court trial has been launched, our lawyers are currently working on it. But we are not interested in suing each other, we are interested in building the nuclear power plant,” Rosatom head Sergey Kiriyenko told ITAR-TASS, as cited by Bulgarian media.

Kiriyenko referred to the Belene project which was abandoned by the previous Bulgarian center-right GERB government back in 2012.

Bulgaria’s new Socialist-led government, which is believed to have stronger ties with Moscow, initially hinted that it may relaunch the project when it took over at the end of May.

However, Economy and Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev later backtracked, saying the country could not afford to build Belene.

On June 7, Russia's Atomstroyexport submitted documents for its claim against Bulgaria's National Electricity Company, NEK, for the abandoned project.

After it was first started in the 1980s, the construction of Bulgaria's second nuclear power plant at Belene on the Danube was stopped in the early 1990s over lack of money and environmental protests.

The Belene NPP has been de facto frozen since the fall of 2009 when the previously selected strategic investor, the German company RWE, which was supposed to provide EUR 2 B in exchange for a 49% stake, pulled out.

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Tags: parliament, Referendum, consultant, HSBC, NEK, BEH, GERB, NPP, Nuclear Power Plant, Rosatom, Atomstroyexport, Russia, ASE, International Arbitration Court in Paris, Arbitration, arbitration court, temporary, RWE, Plamen Oresharski


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