Bulgaria will not go ahead with a project to build a second nuclear power plant in the country unless a foreign investor joins in, prime minister Boiko Borisov said over the weekend.
"During my government's term in office Bulgaria is not building a Bulgarian-Russian plant in Belene. Three years on, this is a fact," Borisov told local broadcaster TV7 on Sunday.
He, however, added that as 1.4 billion levs ($0.9 billion/0.7 billion euro) have already been sunk into the project, the public should be offered an option not to lose the money.
Speaking before the state-run Bulgarian National Television on Friday, Borisov said Bulgaria will abandon the Belene project if the feasibility study that HSBC should hand in by the end of the month shows the project is economically unfeasible for the country. Instead, Sofia plans to pay Russia for a 1,000 MW nuclear reactor that could be installed at its existing Kozloduy nuclear power plant.
The Belene project, launched in the late 1980s, had been frozen for nearly two decades before Bulgaria hired Russia's Atomstroyexport in 2008 to build the 2,000-megawatt power plant. However, little progress has been made since due to pricing disagreements between Bulgaria and Russia.