Russia’s Atomstroyexport Signs with France’s Areva for Bulgaria N-Plant

zThe Russian Company Atomstroyexport (ASE) and France’s Areva signed an agreement for their participation in the construction of the planned 4.0 billion euro nuclear power plant at Belene, Bulgaria, the Russian energy ministry announced.

The move comes after Germany’s Siemens pulled out of its CARSIB consortium with Areva, which was to deliver two 1,000 MWe VVER-type Pressurized Water Reactors to the Bulgarian utility Nationalna Elektricheska Kompania (NEK).

CARSIB was to provide the over all project and interface management for its scope.

Bulgaria’s ruling coalition is making efforts to secure Russian funding for the construction of Belene nuclear power plant shortly before its term expires in the summer.

Russia’s Energy Minister, Sergey Shmatko, who attended the energy forum in Sofia this week was explicit that the Russian Federation was ready to provide any loans necessary for the construction of Bulgaria’s second nuclear power plant at Belene.

The government has estimated costs at EUR 4 B but analysts and sources have said the price tag may tower to EUR 10 B.

The government chose last year German power utility RWE to become a strategic partner in the Belene project with a stake of 49%. State power utility NEK has a majority stake in the plant.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev started a visit to Moscow on Sunday and Belene is expected to be on his agenda.

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