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)