Bulgaria to Decide About Belene N-plant in Three Months, NEK Head says
Thursday, 01 January 1970
Bulgaria will have three months to decide whether to resume the construction of a second nuclear power plant after Russia's Atomstroyexport files a claim against the country for suspending the project, the CEO of state-owned electricity company NEK said.
By the end of the week Atomstroyexport will file with the Court of International Arbitration a claim against Bulgaria, Ivo Lefterov told a nuclear energy conference in the Riviera resort, on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, organised by local non-governmental organisation Bulatom. Bulgaria will then have to decide within three months whether to contest the claim, or go ahead with the project, he added.
Atomstroyexport vice-president Gennady Tepkyan told the forum that the claim will be worth around 1.0 billion euro ($1.31 billion). However, the Russian group may withdraw it if Bulgaria takes cetain steps, he noted.
At the end of February, Bulgaria's parliament confirmed an earlier decision of the government of former prime minister Boyko Borisov to halt the construction of the 2,000 megawatt (MW) plant over concerns about the project's economic feasibility. The vote in Parliament came after in January 61% of voters in a referendum initiated by the Socialists' Coalition For Bulgaria backed the plant's construction. Turnout, however, was below the threshold, as a result of which the referendum's outcome was non-binding.
Following the May 12 elections in Bulgaria, the project is expected to reappear on the country's agenda, as the new government was formed by the pro-Belene Coalition For Bulgaria.
According to Bulatom chairman Bogomil Manchev, if the government decides to proceed with the project, construction would probably begin in 2015.