Another 3-month extension for Belene decision

12 July 2011

Bulgaria's National Electric Company, NEK, and Russia’s Atomstroyexport have extended their contract for the construction of Belene nuclear power plant by three months. The agreement follows a previous three-month contract extension to 30 June 2011, which was signed following the Fukushima Daiichi accident in March.

Addendum 13 to the 2006 contract gives the companies until 30 September 2011 to answer questions related with the technical design, increased safety requirements and cost of the units. In addition it will allow for further development of the engineering procurement and construction contact (EPC) so that it can become more acceptable to banks and meet the requirements of potential international investors.

Both companies agree that the success of the project depends primarily on ‘appropriate budgeting,’ Atomstroyexport said in a statement. UK-based HSBC bank is providing financial analysis of the project for the construction of Belene under an April 2011 contract. Bulgaria will be paying HSBC EUR 2 million for its service, with an additional 0.95% of the end price of Belene if the project goes ahead.

In terms of work at the site ASE says that preparations for the foundations of the first unit have been completed, the concrete plant has been put into operation, construction of water purification facilities have been completed; construction and geotechnical laboratories have been equipped and drilling activities and geological surveys of the site have been implemented.

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