Bulgaria freezes 2nd nuclear power plant project, seeks investor

© RIA Novosti . Alexei Druzhinin / Go to the photo bankBulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Archive
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Bulgaria has put on hold construction of its second nuclear power plant until it finds a new investor to complete the project, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on Tuesday, the daily 24Casa reported.

Bulgaria has put on hold construction of its second nuclear power plant until it finds a new investor to complete the project, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on Tuesday, the daily 24Casa reported.

According to the DPA news agency, the government has earmarked $9.25 million to mothball the Belene site on the Danube, 180 kilometers northeast of the capital, Sofia.

"The country has no money for a nuclear power plant," Borisov said. "We will build it when investors come."

The plant was originally to be built by Russian company Atomstroyexport for 4 billion euros. The firm signed a contract with the previous, Socialist-led government, swept from power by Borisov's conservative GERB party swept in July elections.

Last week, Borisov turned down a 2 billion-euro offer from Moscow for a stake in the plant. He said Bulgaria is looking for a full investor to finish the project following the withdrawal of German energy company RWE in the fall of 2009.

The Bulgarian government retains a 51% share in the project, but following RWE's withdrawal, it said it could reduce the government share in the future plant to 20% to attract more private funding.

According to the BTA new agency, the cost of the project has been revised upward to 10 billion euros, far higher than the previous estimate of 4 billion euros, partly as a result of the global economic crisis.

MOSCOW, May 4 (RIA Novosti) 

 

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