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Bulgaria Parliament Oks Revival of Belene Nuclear Plant

The Bulgarian National Assembly on Thursday mandated the energy minister to begin the process on reviving the abandoned Belene nuclear power plant project, local media said.

The mandate implies that the plant is to be built in collaboration with a strategic investor based on market principles and without state guarantees, Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) said.

Minister Temenuzhka Petkova has to submit a proposal by the end of October to choose an investor and structure and finance the project.

Last month, the Bulgarian government decided to seek parliamentary approval to lift a ban on the development of the 2,000-megawatt plant project, which was dropped in 2012 after failing to attract investors.

Noting that discussions on the Belene project resumed in Bulgaria, President Rumen Radev had said he welcomed Russia's potential involvement in the revival of the project on the Danube River.

Russia would be kept posted on the developments as "the resuscitation of the project implies Russian participation," according to a BTA report at the time.

Radev said Russia had always been a "strategic energy partner" to Bulgaria as a supplier of natural gas, oil and nuclear fuel and as a participant in the maintenance and upgrading of energy facilities, BTA said.

Russian state company Atomstroyexport had been granted a contract to construct the Belene nuclear power plant back in 2008.

Kozloduy NPP Plc. is currently the only nuclear power plant in Bulgaria, and the main electricity generating plant providing more than one third of the total annual electricity output of the country, according to the plant's official website.

(Anadolu Agency, 08/06/2018)

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