Behind-the-Curtain Scheme Said to Revive Bulgaria's NPP

Business » ENERGY | October 18, 2012, Thursday // 18:15| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Behind-the-Curtain Scheme Said to Revive Bulgaria's NPP Bulgaria decided to abandon plans to build its second nuclear power plant in March this year after failing to agree on its cost with Russian company Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom, and find Western investors. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria's government has not halted the construction of Belene nuclear station and the project is in full steam, the right-wing opposition has alleged.

"Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev are colluding with the previously ruling Socialists and are fully determined to continue supporting the project," right-wing MPs alleged on Thursday.

They based their allegations on a letter, which they obtained, by the national electricity transmission company NEK to the mayor of the Danube town of Svishtov Stanislav Blagoev regarding the construction of high voltage lines needed "to ensure the connection of future facilities that will be built on the site of NPP Belene."

The document is dated October 8, 2012.

"The lines are part of Belene infrastructure and will connect the plant with the energy system of the country," Martin Dimitrov, co-chairman of the Parliamentary Group of the Blue Coalition, said.

He accused the authorities of plotting schemes behind the back of the parliament, which decided on March 29 to stop the construction of the plant.

Bulgarians will probably vote on the future of its Belene nuclear station before the end of the year, but the right-wingers says the referendum will just be a tool to legitimize the nuclear plant construction.

"This referendum is a big scam, a trap and Bulgaria has fallen in it," Martin Dimitrov said.

In Bulgaria, no date has yet been set for holding a referendum on the future of the Belene nuclear station near the Danube, but it is widely expected before the end of the year.

The referendum was initiated by the Socialists and backed the ruling party.

Bulgaria decided to abandon plans to build its second nuclear power plant in March this year after failing to agree on its cost with Russian company Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom, and find Western investors.

Bulgaria's government is currently tangled up in a EUR 1 B dispute with Russia over the termination of the Belene project.

Last month recently registered US consortium Global Power Consortium expressed interest in taking over the project to install two 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactors at the Danube River town of Belene and build it without state funds or guarantees.

The companies behind the consortium however are yet unknown.

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Tags: NEK, Samuel Reddy, Global Power Consortium, GPC, Belene, NPP, NPP, Nuclear Power Plant, Rosatom, Atomstroyexport, Russia, Delyan Dobrev, Economy Minister, ASE, Rosatom, Quantum Group, Bogomil Manchev, Risk Engineering, Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, Energy minister
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