Bulgaria's government said on Wednesday that it tasked energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova with drafting a financial model and legal analysis for the construction of a new unit at Kozloduy nuclear power plant (NPP) that would use equipment already purchased for the Belene NPP project.
The government also approved the conclusions of an expert report mandated by the energy minister, which recommends the use of the equipment intended for the Belene NPP project for the construction of Unit 7 at Kozloduy NPP, the government said in a statement following its weekly meeting.
The group of experts also held talks with US power corporation Westinghouse while preparing their report.
The site of the planned Unit 7 has already been licensed by the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency.
In 2008, Bulgaria broke ground for the plant in Belene and hired Russia's Atomstroyexport to build two reactors of 1000 MW each. The project was abandoned in 2013, and Bulgaria paid 601.6 million euro ($729.2 million) in compensation to Atomstroyexport for the equipment already manufactured, following international arbitration.
In June 2018, parliament mandated Petkova to seek potential strategic investors willing to build a nuclear power plant in Belene, aiming to revive the project. Bulgaria has said that it plans to build Belene NPP on a market basis, as the state does not intend to sign long-term power purchase agreements with the investor or provide state guarantees. Bulgaria will participate in the project company via a non-monetary contribution - the manufactured nuclear reactors and other equipment plus the construction site and the respective licences.