Bulgaria Ex Minister Has No Worries over Alleged Belene Embezzlement

Business » ENERGY | November 8, 2009, Sunday // 14:55| Views: | Comments: 1
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria Ex Minister Has No Worries over Alleged Belene Embezzlement RWE terminated the joint venture agreement with NEK for the construction of a 2000MW nuclear plant in Belene at the end of October due to funding problems. File photo

Bulgaria's former economy and energy minister has said he has nothing to worry about as the new government has threatened to approach prosecutors on suspicions of embezzlement of funds for Belene nuclear project.

“Two governments backed Belene project, a decision, which I did not question. The only thing I did was to secure financing for giving the go-ahead to the project,” Petar Dimitrov told the Bulgarian National Radio on Sunday.

Asked about the allegations that BGN 300,000 allotted forming the joint venture agreement between state utility NEK and German utility RWE AG has gone, the minister said “anyone can be accused of anything.”

Dimitrov's successor Traycho Traykov has alleged that the money, which the government allotted for raising the capital of NEK and forming the joint venture agreement with German utility RWE AG, has been spent away.

German utility RWE owned a 49% stake in the joint venture that was planning to build a 2-gigawatt EUR4 billion reactor near Belene. NEK owns the remaining 51%.

RWE terminated the joint venture agreement with NEK for the construction of a 2000MW nuclear plant in the Bulgarian Danube town at the end of October due to funding problems.

RWE's withdrawal from the Belene project came after months of speculation that RWE would shelve the plans due to the issues with the Bulgarian state in arranging the necessary financing.

The Bulgarian state is now looking for further investors and is considering to reduce its stake to around 20%. According to Minister Traykov the stake of the Bulgarian state will be fixed by the consultant, which is due to be picked.

The cabinet of the center-right GERB party says it is not willing to provide any state guarantees for loans and is yet to decide whether to scrap or push ahead due to purely economic terms the construction of the multi-billion Belene nuclear power plant.

The new cabinet has spent most of its first 100 days in office uncovering wrongdoings by the previous Socialist-led cabinet, blaming it for depleting the treasury.

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» To the forumComments (1)
#1
Philippe - 8 Nov 2009 // 15:48:40

If we have to believe all these ex ministers, then all these Porche Cayennes and Bentleys are there because the owners are simply "good business men"? What a joke!

Let him explain where the 300.000 BGN are. He can sit a couple of days on his toilet with diarhea. Nothing wrong with that?

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