Bulgarian Govt Moves to Build New NPP Unit

Energy | December 11, 2013, Wednesday // 15:42|  views

Bulgaria's Economy and Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev, photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Cabinet has approved the report of the Minister of Economy and Energy, Dragomir Stoynev, on the need to build a new unit at the country's only nuclear power plant.

With it, the Minister receives mandate to instruct the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) to negotiate with a strategic investor and with US energy giant "Westinghouse," which is to build a reactor with its technology.

The public radio, BNR, reported Wednesday that Stoynev has given the following details of the decision: to negotiate with Japan's "Toshiba Corporation" an agreement for a strategic investor for the project and construction of a new unit at the nuclear power plant NPP "Kozloduy" with technology reactor with water pressure AP 1000-3 + of the "Westinghouse Electric Company" US.

The Council of Ministers further instructs the Minister of Economy and Energy to organize, coordinate and control the negotiations for structuring and financing of the project "Building a New Unit at NPP "Kozloduy."

The decision of the Council of Ministers was made on December 11 in implementing a decision of the Council of Ministers from April 11, 2012, (during the term of the previous government), which is an agreement in principle to take actions necessary to build a new reactor at NPP Kozloduy.

The investment of "Toshiba Corporation" is forecasted to be up to 30% of the project cost.

"There will be a tender for the construction, but not for the technology because if there is one, this means that the State should buy all produced electricity. I do not want to doom the next generation to long-term contracts, and the seventh unit of NPP Kozloduy will operate on market basis," said Stoynev.

At the end of November, speaking after a working visit to the US, he informed that talks with US energy giant Westinghouse were forthcoming and the construction of the new unit at the Kozloduy NPP could start in 2016, provided that the negotiations were successful.

Stoynev emphasized that Bulgaria had opted for a technology, not a country, by choosing Westinghouse, explaining that safety had been the primary concern in the decision to use US technology.

The Minister stressed then that in the case of a failure to reach agreement with Westinghouse, Bulgaria would seek other options as the country needs to replace units 5-6 of the Kozloduy NPP before they are stopped in 20 years' time.

The issue of a new unit at the NPP Kozloduy came up after the project for the construction of the NPP Belene was frozen by the center-right GERB government.

The government headed by former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov stopped the implementation of the project over its high cost and decided to mount the reactor produced in Russia for the purpose at the NPP Kozloduy site.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria is also striving to get an extension of the life of units 5, 6 of the Kozloduy NPP.

The license of unit 5 of NPP Kozloduy expires in November 2017 and that of unit 6 in October 2019.

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Tags: Boyko Borisov, GERB government, Westinghouse, Belene, NPP, Kozloduy, Economy and Energy Minister, Dragomir Stoynev, Toshiba Corporation, Nuclear Power Plant, Bulgarian Energy Holding, BEH


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