Hyundai E&C picked to build new reactor at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy NPP

Hyundai E&C picked to build new reactor at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy NPP
By Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 21, 2024

Bulgaria has shortlisted South Korea's Hyundai Engineering and Construction Hyundai (E&C) as the sole bidder eligible to continue in the procedure for expressions of interest to build a new reactor using Westinghouse Electric's AP1000 technology at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant, special project company Kozloduy NPP-New Build said in a statement.

Currently, Kozloduy NPP has only two Soviet-era working units – five and six. The energy ministry said in October last year that it will kick off the procedure to pick a contractor for the design, construction and commissioning of unit seven and will also start the procedure to build unit eight, both using the AP1000 technology.

Five international companies expressed interest in the procedure, which was launched earlier in February. The remaining candidates were Dutch Fluor B.V., US Bechtel Nuclear Power, a consortium of China National Nuclear Corporation Overseas and China Energy Engineering Group Tianjin Electric Power Construction, and China Energy Engineering Corporation.

The qualifications of the five candidates were reviewed last week on a pass-or-fail basis. Kozloduy NPP-New Build wants candidates that have experience in constructing and commissioning at least two nuclear units, along with designing nuclear or turbine island systems and supplying and installing equipment for at least two nuclear reactors in the last 15 years, the project company said earlier. They also had to show a turnover of at least $6bn between 2018 and 2022.

After being shortlisted, Hyundai E&C can file an offer in a separate procedure.

US Westinghouse Electric signed an agreement with Kozloduy NPP’s special project company, Kozloduy NPP-Newbuild, in June 2023, that kicked off the procedure for construction of the first new AP1000 reactor.

The AP1000 reactor is the only operating Generation III+ reactor with fully passive safety systems, modular construction design and has the smallest footprint per MWe on the market. Westinghouse will supply the fuel for the new reactor from its plant in Sweden.

In October, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said the new reactors' total capacity of 2,300 MW will significantly exceed the 1,760 MW capacity of the four older blocks that were closed as part of Bulgaria’s accession to the EU.

Deputy Energy Minister Nikolai Nikolov said in December that Bulgaria will aim to achieve a price of €12bn for the construction of the two new units.

Bulgaria intends to be the sole investor in the two units, securing the financing through Kozloduy’s own funds and a loan taken by the state.