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SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 19 (SeeNews) - Russian nuclear energy corporation Rosatom said that it has applied to participate in a procedure for selecting a strategic investor in a project to build a second nuclear power plant (NPP) in Bulgaria at Belene, on the Danube.
Bulgaria launched the procedure on May 22 and set a one-year deadline for its completion, Rosatom said in a statement.
Rosatom did not disclose further details in its statement.
Bulgaria plans to participate in the project company via a non-monetary contribution - the reactors and other equipment it already owns plus the construction site and the respective licences, according to the tender documents.
In June 2018, Bulgaria's government mandated energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova to seek options for resuming the construction of Belene NPP, this time without state guarantees and without long-term power purchase agreements.
In December 2016, following international arbitration, Bulgaria paid 601.6 million euro ($668 million) in compensation to Atomstroyexport for the equipment already manufactured by the Russian company for the project. The equipment is now stored at the site in Belene, on the Danube river, designated for the construction of the power plant.
In 2008, the then Socialist-led government broke ground for the plant, following a long pause, and hired Atomstroyexport to build two reactors. After the project made scant headway, Bulgaria abandoned it with a parliament decision in February 2013, citing huge construction costs and unclear prospects for the sale of the electricity produced by the plant.
Bulgaria's only functioning nuclear power plant - Kozloduy - has two operational units of 1,000 MW each.
($ = 0.9006 euro)