Westinghouse Should Return to Bulgaria, but 'Under New Conditions' - PM
Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has voiced his hope that US-based Westinghouse will return to Bulgaria and build Unit 7 of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant, but under new conditions.
Westinghouse Electric Company was to build Unit 7 under an agreement with the previous elected government.
However, Borisov's cabinet said the document could not be put in practice unless Westinghouse took part in the project as an investor. Apart from a stake of 49%, the company was to commit to providing the necessary funding, the PM stated.
Westinghouse thus did not sign a shareholders' agreement, letting it expire on March 31, and the project was virtually brought to a halt.
On Monday, speaking at an AmCham conference, Borisov urged the company to return and build under "European" conditions - with a clear financial plan for costs related to construction, purchase of the nuclear fuel itself, and project funding.
He accused Westinghouse of failing to provide a mid- and long-term vision about the project.
Borisov blamed AmCham Bulgaria for failing to publicly side with either Westinghouse or the government when the dispute began in the spring.
The Bulgarian News Agency quotes him as saying: "I am talking to you like this because we are partners and friends, not just when we have lunch, but also when there is a problem. If you know something, help me. We are one. We are friends... We stop Russian planes, we also stop three Russian projects, and if [we aren't] your partners, who is?"
Borisov warned Sofia was tolerant to US businesses operating in the country "even when they aren't quite tolerable."
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