Bulgaria Opens Tender for Consultant for Belene Nuclear Project

Business » ENERGY | February 19, 2010, Friday // 13:25| Views: | Comments: 1
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Opens Tender for Consultant for Belene Nuclear Project A file picture dated 03 September 2008 of a worker during the launch of the project for the construction of a building of the first 1,000 MW unit of the second nuclear plant of Belane, some 220km from Sofia, Bulgaria. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) has invited the tender for a consultant to help it decide how to proceed and attract new investors for the planned Belene nuclear power plant.

The project's consultant will be obliged to develop its economic model and proceed to the selection of investors, the update of the financial model, etc.

Applicants in the tender can submit documents until Marchy 25, 2010. The winning bid is expected to be announced and contracted in June 2010.

Notices about the procedure will be published in two of the most prestigious media in the world – the Financial Times and The Economist, as well as online on BEH corporate site.

Bulgaria's new centre-right government, which has put the 2,000 megawatt Belene under review due to rising costs, came up with the idea to hire a new consultant after German utility RWE walked out of the project due to funding problems and Sofia decided to redesign it in the next year to attract new investors.

Russia's state nuclear company Rosatom announced earlier in the week that it is ready to finance with EUR 2 B the multi-billion nuclear project in the Bulgarian Danube town of Belene, which has stalled over lack of funding.

This was Russia's third offer to pour money into Bulgaria's second nuclear plant Belene after Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, gave the green light to a EUR 3,8 B loan at the end of May last year and Rosatom made another bid in December.

Bulgaria's new government of the center-right GERB party has said however that it is not willing to provide any state guarantees for loans and is yet to decide how to push ahead due to purely economic terms.

RWE's departure from Bulgaria's new Belene nuclear plant put extra pressure on government to find new shareholders while it redefines the scope of investment it needs.

The new governmen plans to cut its shares in the project from 51% to 20-30%, which will still allow the country to keep its blocking quota.

Belene's reactors are to be of the Russian VVER-1000 class, while the Western companies are providing instrumentation and control systems.

State power utility NEK has a majority stake in the plant.

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Tags: RWE, Belene, Sergey Shmatko, Traicho Traikov, Russian gas, Overgas, natural gas, Dimitar Gogov, Bulgargaz, Gazprom, Russia, Rosatom
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Jan Haverkamp - Greenpeace - 21 Feb 2010 // 22:40:26

Just for completeness sake:

> State power utility NEK has a majority stake in the plant.

Since RWE walked out, NEK is the *sole* = 100% owner of the Belene project.

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