Russia ready to finance two years of Belene NPP construction

img110Russia was ready to finance the next two years of construction on Bulgaria’s second nuclear power plant in Belene on the Danube, Economy and Energy Minister Traicho Traikov said.

That way the plant’s construction will not be put on hold, he said, noting that money needed for construction of Belene in the next two years totalled about two billion euro.

Allocating the two billion euro was one of the last offers made by the Russian side, Traikov said following his December 24 2009 visit with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shmatko.

In return, Russia expected to secure guarantees that it will get shares in the new company developing the project together with the state Bulgarian Energy Holding and the Bulgarian state national grid operator National Electric Company (NEK).

According to Traikov, if Moscow financed and acquired a larger stake, Russian participation in the project will be trimmed at a later stage. Moscow has already expressed interest in bankrolling the construction in exchange for 100 per cent ownership of the 2000 MW Belene project.

In mid-December, the Russian side said in Sofia it could finance the project without state guarantees but insisted on guarantees from NEK.

Negotiations on Russians’ offers should start at the end of February 2010.

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