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12.12.2013 18:10
Bulgaria Starts Negotiations with Toshiba Corp., Westinghouse for New Nuclear Unit
Toshiba was attracted as strategic investor for building a new unit at Kozloduy NPP using Westinghouse

  • Energy minister Dragomir Stoinev (second left) during his visit at Westinghouse
    © Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and Energy

In what could be considered one of the quickest nuclear energy deals to date, Bulgaria has started negotiating the construction of a new nuclear unit at Kozloduy NPP with Toshiba Corp. using Westinghouse’s AP 1000 reactor technology. The Bulgarian council of ministers approved yesterday a report by energy minister Dragomir Stoinev regarding the construction of a new nuclear unit at the site of the country’s sole nuclear station Kozloduy giving the state-owned energy giant Bulgarian Energy Holding go-ahead to start negotiations with Toshiba Corp. and Westinghouse Electric Company. Following the visit of minister Stoinev at Westinghouse’s U.S. headquarters two weeks ago, the government decided to select the pressurised water reactor technology AP1000 III+ of Westinghouse over the Russian VVER reactors. Stoinev also said that General Electric has also expressed interest in developing two new thermal units at Bulgaria's biggest TPP - the state-owned Maritsa East 2 thermal station.

According to an official press release from the government the move actually enacts a decision by the previous government of Boiko Borisov for the construction of a new nuclear unit at the existing site of Kozloduy NPP. The project is managed by a specially created for the purpose project company called Kozloduy NPP New Build.

The governmental decision highlights that securing optimal conditions for the Bulgarian state and enabling energy diversification would be possible only of negotiations with a strategic investor took place.

“We chose to negotiate with Toshiba Corp. because it expressed interest in investing in the project. Furthermore, the AP1000 technology was determined as the most secure modern reactor”, minister Stoinev commented.

Following an unannounced meeting between Bulgarian PM Plamen Oresharski and Westinghouse CEO Danny Roderick, Oresharski went on the affirm that a team of “experts from BEH, Westinghouse and Toshiba Corp. are expected to start work on the technical, financial and economic parameters of the project within the next months”.

“Within nine months the preliminary work on the technical, financial and economic aspects of the project should be completed. Physical construction could start as early as 2016 and there is no state funding involved at this stage”, Oresharski said.

According to the prime-minister there will be no long-term contracts for the energy from the new unit. It will be traded solely on the liberalised market instead. 

TAGS: Toshiba Corp. | Westinghouse | energy | nuclear energy | Kozloduy | Bulgaria | nuclear unit | construction | AP1000 | Danny Roderick 

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