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GE shows interest in Bulgaria's Belene NPP project - report

GE shows interest in Bulgaria's Belene NPP project - report Author: Bulgaria's Ministry of Energy / All rights reserved.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 13 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova said that U.S.-based industrial conglomerate General Electric has expressed interest to supply technical equipment for the project for the construction of Belene nuclear power plant, local media reported. 

According to Petkova, it is possible for candidates for the construction of the power plant to use turbines manufactured by General Electric, privately held broadcaster bTV reported on Monday. 

The energy ministry is expecting Russia's Rosatom to express interest until August 19 - the deadline for submitting applications to take part in the project.

The 90-day period for expression of interest started on May 22, when the energy ministry published an invitation in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The candidates can be Bulgarian or foreign companies and consortia. The selection procedure, which is expected to be completed within 12 months, provides them with the opportunity to state their interest in acquiring a minority stake in the future project company.

In April, General Electric confirmed its interest for taking part in the Belene NPP project. It may participate as supplier of part of the equipment and project engineer and it could also render assistance in providing part of the financing needed for the project, the energy ministry said at the time. 

In June 2018, Bulgaria's parliament mandated Petkova to seek potential strategic investors willing to build a nuclear power plant in Belene, on the Danube river - a project abandoned since 2012 which the government aims to revive.

According to the decision, the project should be implemented on a market basis, as Bulgaria will not sign long-term power purchase agreements with the investor, nor will it provide state guarantees. Bulgaria would only participate in the project company through a non-monetary contribution - the reactors and other equipment already manufactured plus the construction site and the respective licences.

In December 2016, following international arbitration, Bulgaria paid some 600 million euro ($672.9 million) in compensation to Russia's Atomstroyexport for the equipment already manufactured by the company for the project. The equipment is now stored at the site designated for the construction of the power plant.

($ = 0.89162 euro)