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Bulgaria invites investors for its second nuclear plant

The Bulgarian government has re-opened the process of seeking investors for the country’s second nuclear power plant in the city of Belene.

According to a statement from the Bulgarian Energy Ministry, the government is looking for a strategic investor able to carry out the construction of the Belene plant within 10 years, at a cost of up to 10 billion euros.

“The call also allows for expressions of interest to acquire a minority shareholding in the future project, as well as and/or to purchase electricity from the future power plant,” the ministry said in its statement.

During his visit to Sofia last week, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia’s nuclear energy firm, Rosatom, was ready to invest in the project.

Other energy giants such as the German-French consortium Framatom, US-based energy firm General Electric, Chinese national energy company CNC and Korea’s Hydro and Nuclear power have also expressed their interest.

The Bulgarian government will provide in-kind contributions of assets including the licensed site, technical equipment, permits and licenses related to the project.

Among those already interested in purchasing electricity are Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Rosatom.

The government in Sofia stopped working on the Belene plant in 2012 due to a lack of funding.

Since then, economists in the country have claimed that Bulgaria does not need another nuclear plant as the lifespan of the existing nuclear site in Kosloduy will be extended until 2049. Bulgarian environmentalists have also raised concerns over the project.