Westinghouse to Own 30% in Project Co for New Unit at Bulgarian NPP

Westinghouse to Own 30% in Project Co for New Unit at Bulgarian NPP

U.S.-based Westinghouse, controlled by the Toshiba Group, is planned to hold a 30% stake in the project company for the construction of a new unit at Bulgaria's nuclear power plant (NPP) in Kozloduy with the power plant operator controlling the remainder, the NPP’s deputy CEO said.

The project company will emerge through the transformation of Kozloduy-New Builds, a unit of the plant operator set up in May 2012 for the construction of the new reactor.

The NPP is conducting negotiations with Westinghouse and is soon expected to sign a shareholders agreement for the project, Nikolov said in an audio file posted on the website of state-run radio broadcaster BNR.

The official said he could not comment on the specific financing mechanism for the project.

Westinghouse will exit the project company once the new reactor is completed and fuelled up and will not be its operator, Nikolov said, adding that the shareholders agreement should lay the groundwork for the signing of a construction agreement for the new unit.

The decision to add a new unit at the Kozloduy site was taken by the Bulgarian government in 2012.

In December, experts from Westinghouse, Toshiba Corporation and the state-run Bulgarian Energy Holding, which is the NPP's owner, signed an agreement to open talks on the construction of the new reactor.

In June, the Bulgarian government said Westinghouse has replaced its parent company as a strategic investor in the construction of the new unit at the Bulgarian NPP at the request of the two foreign companies. The U.S. and Japanese companies were stated as saying at the time that the decision was prompted by the fact that Westinghouse, as a provider of the technology for the construction of the new NPP unit, will be more efficient in the management of the organisational, technological, and financial issues during the negotiations.

The Kozloduy NPP remained with two operational reactors of 1,000 MW each after the country closed down four units of 440 MW each to address nuclear safety concerns of the European Union prior to its accession to the bloc. Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007.

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