Bulgaria’s Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova said on October 31 that the draft for an international tender to pick a strategic investor for the shelved Belene nuclear power plant was ready and would be presented to the Cabinet and Parliament in the near future.
In June, the National Assembly approved a motion to give the government a mandate to hold talks with potential investors and a deadline until October 31 to prepare an international tender for a strategic investor in the project.
The draft’s final details were being clarified and it would be presented to the government and the National Assembly “within days”, Petkova said, as quoted by Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).
“If there are not substantial recommendations or changes made necessary as a result of debates, I think that there is no obstacle to start proceedings by the end of the year, it’s a process that takes months,” Petkova said.
BNR also quoted Petkova as saying that no new candidates have shown interest in the power plant, which Bulgaria wants built without any state guarantees to finance the project or long-term electricity purchase contracts.
Previously, Petkova had said that four companies had shown interest in a Belene restart. Although she never named them, media reports identified Russia’s nuclear corporation Rosatom and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) as two interested parties, with France’s Framatome and General Electric rumoured to be interested only in a subcontractor role.
(Belene nuclear plant site, screengrab from Bulgarian National Television)