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Bulgaria Pays Russians EUR 4 M for New Nuke Units

Date: 01.11.2006

Russia's Atomstroyexport tagged the construction of two 1,000 MW light-water reactors in Belene at nearly EUR 4 M.

The Russians landed the contract for building Bulgaria's second nuclear power plant in Belene after outbidding Czech Skoda Alliance with an offer for EUR 3, 997 M against EUR 4, 98 M. Bulgaria's National Electricity Company (NEC) announced presented details about the deal Tuesday.

Electricity, produced at Belene nuclear power plant, will cost 3,7-3,7 euro cents kilowatt/hour, the Russians offered.

The electricity price, offered by the second-ranked Skoda Alliance, is set at 4,00-4,3 euro cents kilowatt/hour.

The public procurement order is for design, construction and commissioning of Units 1 and 2 of NPP. The Russians promise to put into the operations the first unit in six years after the start of construction works. The second unit launch is scheduled for a year later.

The National Electricity Company ranked the bids togeter with the Architect-Engineer for the project - Parsons E&C Bulgaria, and the Financial Consultant for the project - Delloitte Central Europe Limited, with the help of 200 experts from eight countries. They claim the main advantages of the selected reactor variant are its safety and long operational life-time (60 years) and that it represents the future in nuclear reactors.

Third generation VVER reactors are also best received in the European Union, the company says, and Bulgaria wouldn't be faced with EU pressure to close them like the Kozloduy NPP units anytime soon.

Bulgaria will sign the contract with Russia's Atomstroyexport within a month, no matter whether the failed bidder files an appeal or not.

The Bulgarian state will keep its majority stake with 51%.

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