EDF, Rosenergoatom bid for Bulgarian nuclear reactors

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A consortium led by France's EDF and Russia's Rosenergoatom was the sole bidder in a tender to extend the life of two units at Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear power plant, the plant's chief said Thursday.

Some 15 companies bought documents in the tender to rehabilitate and extend the operational life of the two 1,000-megawatt reactors, Kozloduy's chief executive Kostadin Dimitrov was cited by state BTA news agency as saying at an energy forum in the Black Sea city of Varna.

Most of the companies decided later however to join a consortium run by French energy giant EDF and Russia's nuclear plant operator Rosenergoatom, which came up as the sole bidder in the tender, he added.

The operations permit deadlines of the two Soviet-built pressurised water units expire in 2017 and 2019 respectively, but Bulgaria wants to prolong their lifespan by 15-20 years.

This will cost the plant over 100 million leva (50 million euros, $72 million), Dimitrov said Thursday.

The plant's management is currently reviewing the technical part of the EDF/Rosenergoatom offer and has not looked at the financial part of it, he said.

A final decision should be taken by August or September.

In the meantime, the plant was to carry out safety stress tests in line with EU agreements following the Japan nuclear disaster.

Extending the life of Kozloduy's existing two reactors and potentially constructing two new units are part of Bulgaria's energy strategy, adopted Wednesday in parliament.

Sofia has also been planning a new 2,000-megawatt nuclear plant at Belene, further down the Danube, but work on it has been stalled over safety concerns and financial haggling with the Russian builder Atomstroyexport.

The small Balkan country, which was a top electricity exporter to the region, was forced to shut four older units at Kozloduy to secure its European Union accession in 2007.

© 2011 AFP

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