March 08, 6:03
SOFIA, September 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Bulgaria’s ruling party “Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria” and the Coalition for Bulgaria have each submitted a draft resolution on the Belene nuclear power plant.
The former proposed empowering the government to conduct negotiations with a potential U.S. investor, Global Power Equipment Group Inc., which is interested to resume the project.
Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Delyan Dobrev will have to inform MPs on the progress of the talks on a monthly basis.
The decision was supported by Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria and one independent MP.
The latter, the Coalition for Bulgaria, also suggested cancelling the parliament’s earlier decision to terminate the construction of the Belene NPP and obligating the government to implement the project, while protecting the interests of the state.
MPs also required Minister Dobrev not only to provide the parliament with relevant information but also to keep them informed on the extension of the service life for units 5 and 6 of the Kozloduy NPP.
The U.S.-owned consortium Global Power is interested to implement the Belene nuclear power plant project in Bulgaria and is ready to provide 100 percent funding for it, sources in the parliamentary commission on economic and energy affairs said on Wednesday, September 26.
Global Power representative Samuel Reddy presented a detailed investment proposal to Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Delyan Dobrev.
Global Power is engaged in negotiations with Bulgaria’s Electric Energy Company and maintains contact with several other Bulgarian companies that will join the consortium.
According to the proposed procedure, Electric Energy Company will create a project company first, and then assets and liabilities related to the Belene project will be transferred to the project company.
The company also keeps in touch with Russia’s Atomstroyexport that has reiterated its desire to conduct negotiations with the consortium.
Dobrev stressed the need to work out a concept as the basis for negotiations that should be open to society.
“Society should know the terms on which such investments in the Bulgarian economy can be possible,” the minister said.
“The construction of the Belene NPP as a private project is the only remaining option,” he added.
The Bulgarian government and the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party supported the idea of holding a referendum on the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant.
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov suggested holding a referendum in the summer of next year simultaneously with parliamentary elections. “It [the nuclear power plant] started to be built 30 years ago and therefore can wait for several months until the referendum takes place. If we hold it now, we will spend 15-20 million euros on it. If we organise it simultaneously with the parliamentary elections, it will cost us nothing,” the prime minister said.