Cash-Strapped Bulgaria Halts Construction of Second N-plant
Bulgaria has stopped construction of its second nuclear power plant until it finds a new investor and funds to complete the project, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov told Tuesday's edition of the daily 24Casa.
"The country has no money for an atomic power plant," Borisov said. "We will build it when investors come."
The government has earmarked 7 million euros (9.25 million dollars) to conserve the construction site at Belene, on the Danube, 180 kilometres northeast of the capital Sofia.
The plant was originally to be built by Russian company Atomstroiexport for 4 billion euros. 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 last week turned down a 2-billion-euro offer made by Moscow for a stake in the plant, which would have kept the construction work going.
Instead, Bulgaria plans to seek a full investor to finish its second nuclear plant, Borisov said.
Neighbouring Serbia had also expressed interest in a 5-per cent stake in the project, Borisov said, turning it into "a Balkan, European project."
However, it has been estimated that finding a new chief investor - to replace the German energy company RWE, which withdrew last autumn - may take around 18 months.
- » 'Bulgaria Phone Scammers Rob, Blackmail Elderly'
- » NY Times: Bulgaria Grows Uneasy as Trump Complicates Ties to Russia
- » NY Times: As Support for EU Flags Elsewhere, Bulgaria Sees Its Benefits
- » DW: German Businesses Prefer Trade with Bulgaria over Investment
- » The Economist: Bulgaria, Moldova Presidents 'Less Pro-Russian Than Advertised'
- » AFP: Bulgaria's Radev 'Struck a Chord by Attacking the Status Quo'