Bulgarian President Advocates for Referendum on 'Belene' NPP

Business » ENERGY | June 18, 2010, Friday // 12:30| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgarian President Advocates for Referendum on 'Belene' NPP Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov suggests a national referendum on the "Belene" NPP issue. Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian President, Georgi Parvanov, suggested that a national referendum should decide the future of the “Belene” Nuclear Power Plant.

“A referendum for the future nuclear power plant would mean a referendum for the future of Bulgaria's energy sector. Also, with all the job positions it would open, Belene could be an important tool for taking the country out of the economic crisis,” President Parvanov declared Friday.

The President expressed his concern that there is no continuity in the government's policies in the country's energy sector and pointed out the collapse of energy diplomacy after Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov's announcement last week that Bulgaria is quitting the “Burgas-Alexandroupolis” oil pipeline and is freezing the “Belene” project.

“If we analyze the “Burgas-Alexandroupolis” situation, we could have asked for a mixed company to transport the oil through the Black Sea,” Parvanov said on the bTV channel, adding there were no differences between him and the PM in the eco-aspects of the project.

According to the President, the real price of the Belene project is not BGN 26 B, as speculated, but rather BGN 8 B.

“We could gain ten times more than the invested money,” Parvanov said and accused the government for chasing away the strategy investor, the German RWE, which withdrew from the project last fall.

In Parvanov's words, Bulgaria would give way to Romania, Turkey, and the Czech Republic, which could now realize similar projects with Russia.

“With one strike, we liquidated three projects,” Parvanov said, warning the cabinet that if it continues in the same direction, Bulgaria could be removed from another important project with Russia - the South Stream gas transit pipeline.

Borisov spoke for the morning block of the other major TV channel Nova Televizia at the same time when President Parvanov laid out his idea for referendum on Belene on bTV. The PM declared he is firmly for building a second Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene and would support a national referendum on the issue.

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Tags: President Georgi Parvanov, Boyko Borisov, Belene Nuclear Power Plant, Burgas Alexandroupolis
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