Those seeking selection for the engineering, construction, procurement and commissioning of a new AP1000 unit at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant site by 2035, have until 2 February to respond to an invitation for expression of interest.

Kozloduy supplies about one-third of Bulgaria's electricity (Image: Kozloduy NPP)

The initial process is for prequalification of candidates against eligibility and prequalification criteria. The shortlisted candidates will submit their offers in a separate future process, says the document issued by Kozloduy NPP-New Builds Plc.

It says: "The overall objective and result of the current assignment is to have an AP1000 plant procured, constructed, commissioned and operational before 2035. Westinghouse shall hold overall Design Authority responsibility for the AP1000 plant. The responsibilities for the design of individual AP1000 plant systems and buildings shall be delegated by Westinghouse. The responsibility for the design of Modules, Constructions Assemblies and Platforms is aligned with the party that is responsible for the design of the building in which the item is located. The division of responsibilities with respect to Design, Engineering, Transport and Logistics, Construction and Erection/Installation, Commissioning and Startup activities are defined in a separate document for Division of Responsibilities, which eventually shall be part of the EP+C Contract."

The prequalification and award criteria include the technical capacity and reputation of the candidate and "experience as leading constructor in contract/s for construction and commissioning of at least two nuclear units, experience in contract/s for detailed design of systems, structures and components within nuclear island or turbine island of nuclear plant for at least two nuclear units and experience in contract/s for supply and installation of important equipment within nuclear island or turbine island of at least two nuclear units".

It also requires provision of evidence of bidders' "sound financial and economic standing". The document specifically excludes candidates from the Russian Federation.

Bulgaria is aiming to have two new Westinghouse AP1000 units at Kozloduy nuclear power plant. Deputy Energy Minister Nikolay Nikolov told Bulgaria's official BTA news agency in December that the aim was to achieve a price of about EUR6 billion (USD6.5 billion) for each of the units. It also quoted him as saying that potential construction companies had been narrowed down to Bechtel, Fluor and Hyundai, and that the Bulgarian state was expected to be the only investor in the project.

Kozloduy units 1-4 were VVER-440 models which the European Commission had classified as non-upgradeable and Bulgaria agreed to close them during negotiations to join the European Union in 2007. Units 5 and 6 feature VVER-1000 reactors that were connected to the grid in 1987 and 1991, respectively. Both units have been through refurbishment and life extension programmes to enable extension of operation from 30 to 60 years.

When the decision to move ahead with AP1000 units at Kozloduy was given approval by the country's council of ministers in October, the target date for the completion of the first unit was 2033, with the second unit to follow "two or three years after the first one". The 2300 MWe capacity of the two new units would exceed the 1760 MWe capacity of the closed first four units. The Bulgarian government has also said that further units will be needed to replace units 5 and 6 by 2050.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 23 January 2024
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