Bulgaria Forms Special Nuclear Company

Business | July 4, 2004, Sunday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria Forms Special Nuclear Company Bulgaria's Energy MInister Milko Kovachev (R) announced the forming of a special nuclear company. Photo by Gergana Kostadinova (novinite.com)

Units five and six of Bulgaria's nuclear power plant in Kozloduy, the construction site and the power utilities of the country's second nuke in Belene will be united to form a special nuclear company.

The new Bulgarian company will apply for an energy loan of EUR 350 M, Energy Minister Milko Kovachev explained. He added that the Cabinet approved the decision for the forming of the new company at a special closed meeting as the national budget could not allocate the needed financial sources.

The move comes, as Bulgaria will have to close two of its older nuclear power units by end-2006 in view of its EU accession. EU concerns over the safety of Soviet-designed 440-MW reactors of Bulgaria's only N-plant Kozloduy has hinged the country's EU accession in 2007 on their closure the previous year.

The decommissioning of the two oldest units at the end of 2002 came after strong pressure from the European Union, protests from the nuclear lobby and opposition parties that the reactors are economically necessary.

There will be major interest in the new company both from local and foreign investors Kovachev said. The financing contracts will be signed by 2005, while the first unit of the Belene nuke will be ready to operate in 2010, Bulgaria's energy minister underlined.
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