North Macedonia withdraws plans to invest in Bulgaria’s Belene NPP project

By bne IntelliNews November 24, 2020

North Macedonia has withdrawn plans to invest in Bulgaria’s Belene nuclear power plant project, local media reported on November 23, citing the director of the state-run power producer ESM.

The reasons for temporarily abandoning the Belene project were not given. However, the decision come after Bulgaria exercised its veto to block the start of the EU accession talks with its western neighbour North Macedonia.

Last year, North Macedonia’s authorities expressed interest in acquiring a minority stake in the controversial Belene project and signing an electricity purchasing agreement. 

However, on November 23 ESM general director Vasko Kovacevski was cited by broadcaster Telma as saying that instead of Belene the company will be focused on investments in a gas power plant in Alexandroupolis, Greece.

“I want to emphasise that we are temporarily abandoning the planned investment in the Belene plant and focusing on the possibility of investing in a gas-fired power plant near the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Alexandropoulos,” he said at the Macedonian Energy Forum.

The Alexandropoulos power plant will have an installed capacity of up to 800 MW.

“North Macedonia through ESM would gain 25% ownership and up to 200 MW, which will significantly improve the company's performance in terms of stable electricity production,”  Kovacevski added.

The implementation of the Belene project has been canceled several times by the Bulgarian authorities. The government of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov decided to relaunch the project in 2018 despite warnings by economists that building the new power plant is expensive and unnecessary.


Related Articles

Ukraine’s national gas company Naftogaz drops the price of gas for households in February from UAH7.22 to UAH6.89 per cubic metre

Ukraine’s national gas company Naftogaz has lowered the price of gas for households in February to UAH6.89 per cubic metre (including VAT ... more

Romanian power group Hidroelectrica expects IPO by end-2021

Romanian hydropower group Hidroelectrica, the most valuable state-owned company, expects to launch an initial public offering (IPO) to list its shares on the Bucharest Stock Exchange no sooner than ... more

EBRD mulls lending €17.5mn to Bulgaria’s VEZ Svoghe for new greenfield renewable energy projects

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it is considering providing long-term financing of up to €17.5mn to Bulgarian hydropower plant managing company VEZ Svoghe for ... more