Bulgarian state to own 51% of Belene nuclear power plant
The Bulgarian state will own at least 51% of the capital of the contractor that will build the Belene nuclear power plant (NPP), energy minister Miroslav Sevlievski said on Wednesday.
He said there were several options for the structuring of the new company, including the incorporation of a firm combining the assets of the Belene NPP and units 5 and 6 of the Kozloduy NPP. The latter alternative, however, would require the consent of the lenders financing the modernisation of units 5 and 6.
The state's participation in the new company has nothing to do with the financing for the Belene NPP which will be based on a public private partnership. The government will try to commit as little budgetary resources as possible for the Belene project as stated in the supplementary agreement of the memorandum signed with the IMF. The energy ministry has previously insisted that the project could employ state guarantees.
The Belene project is a political issue and the IMF opposes granting state guarantees for the construction of the NPP, said Hans Flickenschild, the IMF mission leader for Bulgaria who is currently on a visit to the country. The fund is of the opinion that private investors should put up the financing for the project.
The completion of the project could cost anywhere between 2 bln and 4 bln euro with delivery seen by 2010.
Sevlievski stopped short of committing to a timetable for submitting a proposal for the construction of the Belene plant to the government and for the launch of vendor selection. This stage will be reached only after the financial model for the project takes shape, the official said.