site.btaUPDATED Bulgaria to Sign Intergovernmental Agreements with US, France for Four Units at Kozloduy, Belene N-Plants
Approached by journalists here on Tuesday, Deputy Energy Minister Elenko Bozhkov said that an engineering contract is about to be signed with US company Westinghouse for the construction of two AP1000 reactors at the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). The same type of contract will be drafted and signed with France's Electricite de France (EDF) on the construction of two 1,000 MW units, using the Russian equipment for VVER-1000 at Belene.
The units at the Belene NPP are expected to be ready in 2035 and those at Kozloduy NPP, in 2045, he specified.
In Bozhkov's words, the main goals of the contract with Westinghouse are maximum participation of the Bulgarian industry in the construction of the two units, maximum use of the existing infrastructure, and a good price of the entire contract. Before an intergovernmental agreement is signed with the US on Units 7 and 8 at Kozloduy, it must be greenlit by the European Commission; its entry into force is subject to ratification by the Bulgarian National Assembly.
The engineering contract with EDF will be about finishing the construction of the units at Belene with French conventional technology. Similarly to the case with the US, an intergovernmental agreement will be signed between Bulgaria and France on the construction.
The EDF Executive Director in charge of new power units will visit Bulgaria on April 4 to meet with Energy Minister Rossen Hristov, Bozhkov also said. The bilateral talks will be followed by a working meeting in a bigger format. On April 18, EDF specialists will visit the site of the Belene NPP project to see the equipment available, its storage, and the existing infrastructure.
Taking questions by BTA, the Deputy Energy Minister said that the engineering contracts will determine what Bulgaria's participation will be. The agreement with the US is at a very advanced stage; it clearly states that maximum localization is sought, i.e. maximum use of the Bulgarian industry's capabilities in the construction of the units. The share of State participation is yet to be specified, he added. It is early to talk about the estimated prices of investment and the participation share of private investors. At present, Westinghouse and EDF are interested in participating with predominant financing.