Bulgaria looks for Western investor for its Belene NPP

"We are analyzing the long-term electricity needs in Bulgaria and the region as well as the possibilities of attracting a strategic Western investor," Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski told Bloomberg about the country's plans about a second nuclear power facility.

"The country has no funds to build this plant" the PM added.

The construction of Bulgaria's second nuclear power plant was frozen in 2010 because it was uncertain when the investment would be returned. Then the project was terminated in March 2012. However, in late 2012 then opposition BSP initiated a referendum petition and the first national referendum in the history of modern Bulgaria was held on January 27, 2013. The majority of people voted "Yes" on Belene, however the attendance of the voters who bothered to attend was too low for it to pass. The referendum passed the question further to the Parliament, which decided on 27 February 2013 to suspend it. Later in 2013 the newly elected BSP cabinet announced there is a possible restart for it the project.

Although the Belene nuclear power project has been suspended by the Bulgarian National Assembly on 29 March 2012, the National Electricity Company (NEC) continued to pay EUR 950,000 each month to the consulting company WorleyParsons and its subcontractor Risk Engineering, hired for the construction supervision of the project.

Currently, Bulgaria is hoping for the best in an EUR 1 billion arbitration case in Paris submitted by Russian Atomstroiexport  for the losses of the Russian  contractor due to the freezing of the Belene Nuclear Plant Project.

Adapted from Standartnews