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Oct 01, 2007 15:34 EEST
October 1 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria on Monday extended to October 15 the deadline for placing preliminary bids for a strategic investor in a 2,000-megawatt (MW) nuclear power plant that the EU newcomer state should start building next year, the country's power grid operator, NETC, said.
"The deadline was extended by two weeks [...] There were some more issues to be discussed [...] and the bidders were requested to come up with some more things - some papers and information," NETC press relations officer Hristina Stoyanova told SeeNews without elaborating.
"Both sides wanted the extension," Stoyanova added.
In July, Bulgaria invited six international majors to vie for acquiring an up to 49% stake in the company that will build and operate the Belene nuclear power plant. The remaining 51% stake will remain with NETC. The companies - Czech CEZ, French EDF, German E.ON, Belgium Electrabel, Italian Enel and German RWE - had to place their preliminary offers by October 1.
Last year NETC awarded a 3.99 billion euro ($5.7 billion) deal to Russia's Atomstroyexport to build the power plant at Belene, on the Danube River.The first of the future plant's two reactors of 1,000-MW each should go online by January 2014
Bulgaria hopes that the Belene plant will make up for the generating capacity and power exports it lost after closing down a second pair of Soviet-built reactors of 440 MW each at its existing Kozloduy nuclear power plant at the end of 2006. The country closed the first pair of 440-MW reactors at Kozloduy in 2002 under pressure from the European Union. Now Kozloduy operates its two remaining nuclear reactors of 1,000 MW each.
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