SOFIA (Bulgaria), September 15 (SeeNews) – Bulgaria is considering lowering its stake in the project for the country’s second nuclear power plant at Belene to 20% from the current 51%, Energy Minister Traycho Traykov said.
“We are working to set up a new structure for Belene’s financing, in which new additional investors, including small ones, can be attracted. The state share can be decreased from 51% to 20% […],” Traykov told local Dnevnik in an interview released on Tuesday.
Earlier in September the minister said the plans for cutting the stake depended on the talks, due to end this month, with the state partner Germans RWE, which holds the remaining 49% in the 2,000 megawatts (MW) Belene plant.
Bulgaria holds the 51% stake in the nuclear power plant project through its power grid operator NEK.
The preparation of the plant’s construction site started last year but raising funds for the actual construction works, awarded to Russia's Atomstroyexport, and of the adjacent infrastructure has been a key obstacle to further progress. The power plant is expected to cost between 8.0 billion and 10 billion euro ($11.6-$14.6 billion).
The European Union said last week it will consider granting additional aid of up to 300 million euro for the decommissioning of the country’s sole nuclear power plant Kozloduy, after the closure of the plant’s four older reactors of 440 MW each. The EU has already granted some 550 million euros in compensation for the closure.
“[The money] will be used for the decommissioning as well as for non nuclear measures, including for energy efficiency,” Traykov said in the interview. He added that Bulgaria will receive 75 million euro each year from 2010 to 2013.
Traykov also said that there are some 6,000 administrative buildings in Bulgaria that need investments of up to 250 million euro to be energy efficient.