Belene NPP revival seems on the cards

16 August 2016

Bulgaria could find private investors to complete the ditched Belene nuclear power plant (NPP) project, with assistance from the state, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov suggested on 12 August.

The project, which was to be carried out by Russian company Atomstroyexport, was abandoned in 2012. In June, however, an arbitration court forced Bulgaria to pay €550 ($623m) for a nuclear reactor and other equipment already produced for the plant. Since then, the possible revival of the Belene project has been on the agenda, with Borisov not ruling it out as an option. Bulgaria is setting up a working group with Russia to discuss the issue.

"When we pay the €557m, we will have two reactors....The state doesn't have now [the capacity] to put aside 20% of its GDP for the construction. Let's make it a private project, through the privatization agency... the state's share cannot be too big," Borisov said. Bulgaria had earlier explored the option to sell the reactors and other equipment to Iran. However, after lack of response from the Islamic Republic, Borisov noted that Bulgaria cannot afford to take the reactor and "put it into a museum”. He told local media: "We have a very changed situation. We are obliged to pay for these two reactors."



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