US consortium eyes Bulgarian NPP Belene project.

By bne IntelliNews September 27, 2012
US-based Global Power Consortium has shown interest in buying the Belene nuclear power plant project, which the Bulgarian government decided to discontinue in March, Focus News Agency reported, citing Samuel Reddy, representative of the consortium. The companies participating in this consortium remained unnamed but it was announced that the final group of investors is yet to be formed. At a meeting with Bulgarian government officials and Bulgarian energy minister Delyan Dobrev, Samuel Reddy informed that currently the consortium is in talks with National Electricity Company (NEK), which is to set up a project company. All assets and liabilities related to Belene project will be afterwards transferred in the project company at market value. The potential investors will not seek debt guarantees from the Bulgarian government as the project will be fully funded by the American companies. Furthermore, Mr Reddy claimed that the consortium will not require a government guaranteed purchase price for the electricity produced at Belene. This development brings the nuclear project back on the table after the government decided to abandon it because it could not manage its cost. Meanwhile, Russia's AtomStroyExport, part of Rosatom, raised in September the value of its claim against NEK to EUR 1bn, up from EUR 58mn previously. Both sides have filed arbitration claims over the dispute. The consortium has declared readiness to negotiate with AtomStroyExport and to help settle the issue. The government will not remove the veto on Belene project for now, Delyan Dobrev said but added that the project could be resumed upon a good offer.

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