Bulgaria still pays for Belene NPP without strategic investor

Bulgaria still pays for Belene NPP without strategic investor

While it is still struggling to bring a strategic investor onboard, Bulgaria will continue to make payments to Russian contractor AtomStroyExport for the construction of the first reactor of the future Belene nuclear power plant project, it emerged on a meeting between Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and Russia's first deputy prime minister Viktor Zubkov."By mid-September, Finance Minister [Simeon] Dyankov will have to shell out a further 280 million euro for the project's first reactor, which is expected to be completed by that time," Borissov said, adding that Bulgaria had already paid 300 million euro for this reactor.In autumn 2009, Germany's RWE withdrew as strategic investor in the Belene project, which is designed to offset the loss in generating capacity at Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear power facility following the premature closure of two pairs of 440 MW reactors.A Finance Ministry source told Dnevnik that the 280 million euro payment could be made if Bulgaria's Cabinet has made such a decision, but did not specify where the money will come from.This statement contradicted one by Dyankov, who at the end of February 2010 was adamant that he would not give "a penny of the state budget for this year, next year or the year after" for Belene's construction. At the time, he said that a clear financial model should be worked out so that the nuclear power station project could be implemented.Borissov said: "Russia is familiar with how far the project has progressed and knows that there is a puddle of water at the site at the moment".A project roadmap has already been drawn up but there are a couple of key issues about the project that need to be tackled by the end of September, Borissov said.

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