All five shortlisted candidates are ready to file binding bids in the tender to select a strategic investor for construction of the Belene nuclear power plant in Bulgaria, the energy ministry said.
In December, the ministry invited five companies to file binding offers: China National Nuclear Corporation, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, Russia's Atomenergoprom, a subsidiary of state nuclear corporation Rosatom, France's Framatome and US-based General Electric.
By the 31 January deadline all five companies had sent letters to confirm they were ready to file binding offers, with CNNC also sending additional questions to make a final decision on whether to participate in the tender, the ministry said in a statement.
The deadline for submitting final offers is 31 May. The Bulgarian government hopes to complete the project within ten years at the cost of up to €10bn.
CNNC, Rosatom and KHNP have been selected as potential strategic investors in the project.
Framatome and GE were also put on the shortlist after they proposed supplying equipment for the project and arranging financing.
GE expressed interest in structuring project finance, as well as participating as a designer and equipment supplier for the turbine control room, compressors, transformers and other parts.
Framatome stated its interest in taking part in the structuring of project finance for safety systems, including electrical ones as well as control systems.
Neighbouring North Macedonia has also expressed interested in acquiring a minority stake in Belene and in signing an electricity purchasing agreement.
An interest in minority participation in the Belene nuclear power plant project was also received from Bulgarian firms Atomenergoremont AD and Grand Energy Distribution EOOD.
Initially, the 2000MWe Belene plant was to be built with the participation of Russia. However, the project was cancelled in 2012, after a change of government. The Belene project was revived in June 2018.
Photo: Flag map of Bulgaria (Source: Wikimedia Commons)