US-based Westinghouse Electric Company organised a Bulgarian Supplier Symposium to engage with potential suppliers in support of the two AP1000 reactors to be built at the Kozloduy NPP as units 7&8. Representatives from more than 50 companies took part in the event, which was also attended by Bulgarian Energy Minister Rumen Radev and Delyan Dobrev, Chairman of the Committee on Energy in the National Assembly as well as Kozloduy officials and representatives from the US and Canadian embassies.

Westinghouse was awarded a front-end engineering & design contract with Kozloduy NPP subsidiary, Kozloduy NPP-Newbuild (KZNPP-NM – Kozloduy NPP Novi Mostnosti) in June 2023. Earlier in February, Bulgaria and the US signed a formal agreement to collaborate on the construction of Kozloduy 7&8. The document outlines cooperation in nuclear power development and technology exchange. While the units are to have Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, Westinghouse will not take part in the construction but will retain overall control of the project.

South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction (Hyundai E&C), part of Hyundai Corporation has been selected to undertake the construction. Four other companies had expressed interest in the contract but failed to meet the technical or financial conditions or the tender. The companies have now been identified as were US Fluor BV, a consortium led by China National Nuclear Corporation Overseas, China Energy Engineering Corporation Limited and US Bechtel Nuclear Power Company Limited. The National Assembly finally voted to support the Energy Ministry’s decision to invite Hyundai after a lengthy debate during which opposition parties unsuccessfully endeavoured to reinstate Bechtel as a contender. The vote was 112 votes in favour, 29 against and 82 abstentions.

The conditions Bulgaria has set for construction of Kozloduy 7&8 are:

  • There must be a fixed price.
  • The first unit (7) must be built within 60 months and the second unit (8) within 54 months.
  • At least 30% of the budget and the activities under this project should be assigned to Bulgarian contractors.

Following the National Assembly decision on Hyundai, the South Korean embassy issued a statement saying: “The embassy hopes the talks will run smoothly”.

Image (L-R): Ivan Pironkov (Westinghouse), Oscar Prat (Westinghouse), Rumen Radev (Minister of Energy, Bulgaria), Delyan Dobrev (Chairman of the Energy Committee in the Parliament), Kenneth Merten (US Ambassador to Bulgaria), Alex Nestor (Chairman of Kozloduy New Built Company), Sean Jones (Westinghouse), and Ivan Mihaylov (CEO of Amcham) at the symposium in Bulgaria (courtesy of Westinghouse)