Westinghouse picked to do Kozloduy plant new unit study

Bulgarian Energy Holding’s board of directors signed on August 27 a contract US nuclear consultancy firm Westinghouse to carry out the feasibility study for the construction of a seventh unit at Bulgaria’s sole nuclear power station at Kozloduy, on the Danube River.

Westinghouse was picked last week after offering the lowest price, just under one million euro. The firm will not have to do the environmental impact study or the geological survey, for which other companies would be hired, Bulgaria’s Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev said at the signing ceremony.

Westinghouse beat out a consortium between French Areva and Japan’s Mitsubishi, as well as bids from Australia’s WorleyParsons and local Risk Engineering.

Earlier this year, Bulgaria’s Cabinet decided to abandon plans to build two 1000MW reactors at Belene on the Danube River – for which a preliminary contract was signed with Russia’s Atomstroyexport in 2008, but where construction has been repeatedly delayed over failure to agree final price terms and lack of funding. (WorleyParsons and Risk Engineering both carried out work for Belene).

Instead, Bulgaria decided to build a new 1000MW unit at its existing power plant at Kozloduy, banking on cheaper costs because the infrastructure is already in place. Belene’s final costs, as estimated by consultants HSBC, were expected to run at more than 10 billion euro.

Kozloduy has two Soviet-made 1000MW units in operation, whose lifespan Bulgaria wants to increase. Four older units, totalling a combined power of 1760MW, have been shut down in 2005 and 2006 as a pre-requisite for Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union in January 2007.

(Bulgaria’s sole nuclear power plant at Kozloduy. Photo: uvioc/flickr.com)



The Sofia Globe staff

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