Five companies have expressed interest in Bulgaria’s invitation for strategic investment in the construction of Belene nuclear power plant on the Danube River near the Romanian border. According to national newspaper 24 Chasa, China National Nuclear Corporation, Framatome, General Electric, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power and Rosatom have all applied for the selection process.

The Bulgarian government’s "call for expressions of interest for a strategic investor and/or acquisition of a minority shareholding and/or purchase of electricity" was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 22 May. The 90-day deadline expired today. The completion date is 12 months from the date of publication.

According to Novinite.com, the executive secretary of Bulgarian Atomic Forum (Bulatom), Stanislav Georgiev, says there will be no changes in the terms of the procedure and the state would not provide guarantees for the purchase of electricity. Georgiev told Bulgarian National Radio: "The procedure was announced a few months ago. It involves nine stages, and this is only the first one. This is not a tender. The first stage is simply statements 'I intend to participate'." Bids will be requested and there will be discussions during the third or fourth stage of the procedure, he said, and the whole process will take "a little over a year".

24 Hours said that Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova had refused to answer questions from reporters regarding the Belene project yesterday, suggesting "be patient and wait for the official announcement" about the companies that had submitted their preliminary applications. The minister reportedly stressed that Bulgaria had invested BGN3 billion (USD1.7 billion) in the construction of the twin-reactor Belene plant.

Announcing its expression of interest in the tender today, Rosatom said its application had been accepted by Natsionalna Elektricheska Kompania EAD. The Russian state nuclear corporation said it had applied "in a timely manner", since the deadline for applications was 90 days from 22 May.

The Belene NPP construction project in northern Bulgaria - at the Belene site, located 4 km from the town of Belene and 11 km from the town of Svishtov - includes construction of two 1000 MWe units, each using the Russian VVER-1000/V-466 design which is a pressurised water reactor with four circulating loops. The nominal thermal power is 3000 MWt and the net power is 1000 MWe.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Monday, 19 August 2019
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Belene-project-attracts-five-expressions-of-intere