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Germany's Siemens Joins Bulgaria Belene Nuclear Project

Date: 09.12.2009

The previous Socialist government has estimated Belene costs at EUR 4 B but their successors from center-right GERB party say the price tag may tower to EUR 10 B

Germany's Siemens, whom Bulgaria's previous Socialist-led cabinet contracted to build Belene nuclear power plant, has handed its technical-economic offer to its partner Russia's Atomstroyexport. This was announced by the Russian company in a statement, circulated to the media by the Russian Embassy in Sofia.

“The participation of the German company Siemens in Belene project will secure the introduciton of the latest European technologies in the Russian project,” Genadij Tepkyan, Vice President of Atomstroyexport, commented. He stressed the long history of partnership that the two companies have, pointing out this gives good grounds for successful implementation of Belene project.

Bulgaria's previous Socialist-led cabinet picked German utility RWE for a 49-percent stake and contracted Russia's Atomstroyexport along with French Areva and Germany's Siemens to build the plant.

Belene's reactors are to be of the Russian VVER-1000 class, while the Western companies are providing instrumentation and control systems. State power utility NEK has a majority stake in the plant.

RWE's departure from Bulgaria's new Belene nuclear plant put extra pressure on government to find new shareholders while it redefines the scope of investment it needs.

The new government, which has put Belene under review due to rising costs, plans to cut its shares in the project from 51% to 20-30%, which will still allow the country to keep its blocking quota.

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