Bulgaria to 'Pay Penalties' if Belene NPP Project Is Canceled
Bulgaria Economy Minister, Traicho Traikov, has stated that if Bulgaria stopped the Belene Nuclear Power Plant project it “would likely have to pay penalties”.
During a Parliament debate on the construction of Belene NPP Traikov said that for the last 5 years there has “only been an imitation of a search for foreign investors and the like.” He also confirmed that EUR 1 B has already been spent on the project.
Answering demands from the rightist Blue Coalition for the Belene NPP project to be stopped or suspended until a consultant is employed to make a comprehensive assessment before construction, Traikov said that if stopped Bulgaria “would likely have to pay penalties”.
Regarding the Russian laon deal for the Belene NPP Traikov concluded that the scheme that has been discussed involves interim financing and the continuing demand for a strategic investor. He added that the deal did not involve any Bulgarian government guarantee or guarantee from the Bulgarian Energy Holding.
He continued; "There will be no need to force the Russians to sell their share in the project as this will be pre-agreed with them."
Traikov also stated that no strategic investor had yet been found for the project but that he hopes one will be soon. He continued that he could not give a guarantee that the Belene NPP project would go ahead but said that until the end of March, the government will draw up a specific scheme for the financial commitments of the Russian investors and the method of allocating shares in the project company.
Last Friday it was revealed that Russia is going to grant Bulgaria a loan for the construction of the Belene NPP, after Traikov, met with Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and the CEO of the Russian state company Rosatom in Sofia over the Bulgarian request for a EUR 2 B loan from Rosatom for the construction of the Plant.
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