Bulgaria’s Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova said on January 14 that she was hopeful that the tender to pick a strategic investor for the restart of the Belene nuclear power plant could be launched next month, with preparations for the process already underway.
Last month, Petkova presented in Parliament the draft framework for the selection process, but she gave no indication, at that time, as to when the tender notice might be published.
Speaking to Bulgarian National Television on January 14, Petkova re-iterated the key condition under which the Bulgarian government is willing to resuscitate the project – it must be on a “market principle”, without any state investment guarantees or long-term electricity purchase contracts.
As on previous occasions that the project has been discussed in public in recent months, she touted the interest shown in Belene by China National Nuclear Corporation, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power and France’s Framatome.
She said that General Electric had also made its interest known through a letter at the end of 2018, but saw its role as an engineering contractor. Earlier reports in Bulgarian media said that Framatome was interested in a similar role as contractor.
(Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova, screengrab from Bulgarian National Television.)