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26.03.2015 16:46
New Planned Unit and Kozloduy NPP Life Extension Discussed in Sofia Today
The Bulgarian government hopes to attract Westinghouse as a strategic partner providing fresh financial resources to the project

  • Ivan Hinovski of the Bulgarian Energy and Mining Forum, energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova and energy commission vice-chairman Valentin Nikolov

The efforts of the Bulgarian government are streamlined to fulfill the life extension project for Bulgaria’s sole functioning nuclear power station at Kozloduy, Bulgarian energy minister Temenuzhka Petkova said today during the opening of the “Nuclear Energy on Liberalized Energy Markets: Technology, Financing, Planning” conference held today by the Bulgarian Energy and Mining Forum. and Utilities magazine are media partners of the event.

Minister Petkova and the deputy-chairman of the parliamentary energy commission Valentin Nikolov inaugurated the event.

Minister Petkova highlighted that nuclear energy remains a key economic sector for Bulgaria, notably providing about 33 percent of all electricity in the country. Ms. Petkova informed that the life extension of the two 1000-megawatt operating units at Kozloduy NPP is going according to schedule.

“This process is happening without concussions and I am convinced that we will comply with the deadlines”, Petkova said, adding that the government has not dropped the planned new nuclear unit to be provided by U.S. company Westinghouse.

Negotiations between the Bulgarian government, the project company Kozloduy NPP New Build, the Bulgarian Energy Holding and Westinghouse are still ongoing despite the approaching conditional deadline of exclusivity on March 31. The government and Westinghouse are trying to find a mutually agreeable solution for the financing and shareholder structure for the new unit. Ideally, the Bulgarian government hopes to attract Westinghouse as a strategic partner providing fresh financial resources to the project.

“If a new unit is built, it should be according to [Bulgaria’s] economic interests and should not involve state guarantee or contribute to the growth of the deficit or debt of the country. We are re-examining the shareholders’ agreement, clause by clause. […] Our wish and condition is that the investor does not leave the project for as long as possible and our partners at Westinghouse know it”, Petkova stated.
Bulgaria is ready to offer Westinghouse a 49-percent stake in the joint venture, with a respective financial involvement.

Asked about the power price of the planned unit, minister Petkova replied that the government is considering a price levelling with the cheaper energy from Kozloduy’s units 5 and 6 in order to make the power of the new unit more affordable. The expected price of the electricity from the new unit is about BGN 120 – 130/MWh (about EUR 65/MWh), which is not comparable to the market wholesale levels of about BGN 70/MWh.

The event continued with presentations from Vadim Titov, VP of of the Rosatom. International Network who talked about the trends of Russia’s nuclear industry in terms of both domestic and international projects.

Bogomil Mantchev, Chairman of Bulatom, made a retrospective of Bulgaria’s attempts to build a new nuclear unit since the 1990’s and the hinders and prospects for the existing units at Kozloduy NPP and the planned new build.

Andrzej Blach of CMS-CMCK, presented the recent developments of the Polish nuclear sector, tackling the legal aspects behind the planned nuclear expansion in one of Europe’s most heavily coal-reliant nations.
Viktor Cerny of CEZ a.s. shed light on the plans of the Czech Republic to extend its Temelin and Dukovany NPPs.

Aziz Dag, VP Key Accounts at Westinghouse Electric Company highlighted the advantages of the company’s AP1000 plant technology.

The two day forum also continues on Friday. Stay tuned for more news and interviews.

TAGS: Bulgaria | nuclear energy | Kozloduy | NPP | Westinghouse | CEZ | AP1000 | Temelin | nuclear power | energy market | Rosatom | conference | Bulgarian Energy and Mining Forum 

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