The state-run Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) will pay 55 million euro ($72.2 million) towards a syndicated loan that its unit, power grid operator NEK, received from a group of lenders led by France's BNP Paribas for the construction of a second nuclear power plant in the country, local media reported.
The payment will allow NEK to defer by one year payment of the remaining 195 million euro on the loan, Capital Daily reported, quoting NEK's CEO Ivo Lefterov.
The loan was obtained in 2007 and expires in mid-May. Apart from BNP Paribas, among the lenders are also Belgium's Dexia and Japan's Mizuho. The loan had to be used to finance the design, supply of equipment and the construction and assembly works on the 2,000 megawatt nuclear power plant Belene in the first year of the project's implementation. However, little progress was made on the project and Bulgaria decided to abandon it at the end of March.
BEH incorporates assets of Bulgaria's sole nuclear power plant Kozloduy, gas monopoly Bulgargaz, gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz, telecommunications operator Bulgartel, NEK and its wholly-owned system operator Electricity System Operator, coal-fired power plant Maritsa East 2 and the Maritsa East coal mines.