Bulgaria, Russia Extend Belene NPP Deal by 3 Months, Russian Funding Mulled

Bulgaria, Russia Extend Belene NPP Deal by 3 Months, Russian Funding Mulled

Bulgaria's National Electric Company NEK and Russia's Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Rosatom, have signed an annex extending by 3 months their contract for the construction of the Belene NPP, which should become the second Bulgarian nuclear power plant.

The new "Annex No. 13" to the 2006 contract between the two state companies was inked late Friday night, the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, Energy, and Tourism announced Saturday.

The newly-signed document effectively provides the two parties with a deadline until September 30, 2011, to hammer out answers to questions related with the technical project for the Belene NPP, the market analysis by the project consultant HSBC, and further progress on the contract for construction and supplies, which is to be made more flexible to meet requirements by potential international investors.

However, it does not contain a commitment to a certain deadline for reaching a final construction deal. The greatest issue over which Bulgaria and Russia have been haggling for the past two years under the Borisov Cabinet has been the price of the project, with Russia insisting it should be no less than EUR 6.3 B, while Bulgaria is demanding a price of no more than EUR 5 B.

An interesting provision in the new annex to the Bulgaria-Russia Belene deal provides for the setting-up of a financial working group of the involved parties to clarify the conditions for funding offered by Russia. (Source: Sofia News Agency)

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