Russian nuclear exporter sues Bulgaria's power grid

21st July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia's state-owned nuclear power equipment exporter said Thursday it had taken Bulgaria's national grid operator NEK to the International Court of Arbitration in Paris over project payment delays.

Atomstroyexport said it would seek 50 million euros (72 million dollars) in damages linked to the Belene nuclear power plant construction project in northern Bulgaria.

"The Russian company has been forced to go to court because the customer is not keeping up with the payments scheduled," an Atomstroyexport representative told the RIA Novosti news agency.

The announcement was made days after the French business daily La Tribune said the Russian company was ready to cancel the troubled project over financing issues.

Atomstroyexport signed the first Belene agreement in November 2006 and began work on the site two years later.

Bulgarian officials said the project was Atomstroyexport's first in a European Union country and therefore important to the Russian company's bid to find new Western clients.

© 2011 AFP

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