Russia's Atomstroyexport Ready to Start Bulgaria's Belene in Oct

Business » ENERGY | June 9, 2010, Wednesday // 13:04| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Russia's Atomstroyexport Ready to Start Bulgaria's Belene in Oct A file picture shows workers during the construction of the first 1,000 MW unit of the second nuclear plant of Belene, some 220 km from Sofia. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Russia's Atomstroyexport, commissioned to build the planned 2,000 megawatt Belene nuclear plant on the Danube River in Bulgaria, which has stalled over lack of funding, is ready to start work in October, the company's executive director for the project said.

“We are ready to start the construction of the nuclear plant right after September 30,” Genadij Tepkyan said at an international conference, organized by the Bulgarian Atomic Forum (Bulatom).

“Our only requirement is that the National Electricity Transmission Company secures the project's financing,” he added.

“The preparatory works which we have done so far are faultless. We have been contracted by the Bulgarian government for the construction of the plant and the first unit can be unveiled by the end of 2017,” Tepkyan said.

He stressed that Belene is a European project, which has attracted consultants from all over the world.

“Unfortunately the more the government delays the launch of the construction works, the more expensive the project will become,” Tepkyan warned, but declined to cite figures.

Bulgaria suspended the construction of its second nuclear power plant until it finds a new investor and funds to complete the project at Belene, on the Danube, 180 kilometres northeast of the capital Sofia.

The country's center-right government has reportedly unsuccessfully courted Romania and Serbia as it angles for a new chief investor in its second nuclear power plant Belene to replace the German energy company RWE, which withdrew last autumn.

The plant was originally to be built by Russian company Atomstroyexport for EUR 4 B. The firm had signed a contract with the previous, Socialist-led government, swept from power by Borisov's conservative GERB party swept in last year's July elections.

Borisov rejected a EUR 2 B offer made by Moscow for a stake in the plant and said Bulgaria will seek a European investor to finish its second nuclear plant.

Six candidates have submitted documents to bid in the tender opened by the Bulgarian Energy Holding for a consultant to help it decide how to proceed and attract new investors.

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Tags: Belene, Belene NPP, Nuclear Power Plant, Rosatom, Russia, Sergei Shmatko, Traicho Traikov
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