China interested in Bulgaria’s Belene NPP

20 December 2016

Bulgaria’s Acting Minister of Energy, Temenujka Petkova, reported on 16 December that the "Industrial and Commercial Bank" China had expressed an interest in the financing of the project for construction of the Belene NPP, which was being built by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom before it was cancelled by the government in 2012.

The government has instructed Petkova within three months to prepare a technical, economic and legal analysis relating to the possibility of building the Belene NPP without government or state guarantees. A detailed analysis of the prospects for the Belene project will be undertaken by experts of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In the future, all assets and liabilities relating to Belene will be transferred to a separate group, which may be further privatised, Petkova said. 

She stressed that such a solution protects the financial interests of Bulgaria and, in particular, allows the National Electric Company (NEK) to return to the state budget the money allocated for the repayment of the debt to Russia’s Atomstroyexport, which had already manufactured equipment for Belene before the project was cancelled, in accordance with the decision of the International Court of Arbitration.

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