03:21 GMT +3 hours26 November 2014
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RWE Quits Bulgaria NPP Project over ‘Lack of Funding’

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German company RWE pulled out of Bulgaria's Belene Nuclear Power Plant project back in 2009 because of the lack of financing, a Bulgarian official said on Wednesday.

German company RWE pulled out of Bulgaria's Belene Nuclear Power Plant project back in 2009 because of the lack of financing, a Bulgarian official said on Wednesday.

During the 16-month negotiations with Bulgaria's National Electricity Company the parties failed to sign a contract with the project operator, Russia’s Atomstroyexport, and find a clear financing structure, Mihail Andonov, head of the Bulgarian Energy Holding, was cited by the Sofia News Agency as saying.

The Belene project was frozen in the fall of 2009 when strategic investor RWE, which was supposed to provide 2 billion euros in exchange for a 49% stake, pulled out.

According to WikiLeaks cables that surfaced at the end of 2010, the German company abandoned plans to participate in the construction of a 2000MW nuclear plant in the Bulgarian Danube town of Belene after realizing that working with Russian and Bulgarian companies in the energy sector is a 'poisonous combination' for European investment."

The Bulgarian government scrapped the Belene NPP project earlier in 2012, declaring it economically unfeasible. The Bulgarian Socialist Party then launched a petition for a referendum on the Russian-Bulgarian project's fate.