Saturday, 1 August 2009

More Aid Needed In Bulgaria - This Time For Belene Nuclear Power Plant

Yet more pleads for investment in Bulgaria this time for the stricken nuclear power plant in Belene. Bulgaria seems to rely more and more on foreign aid. Will it come from the EU? I doubt it as it was they who ‘ordered’ it to shut down as a condition of Bulgaria joining the EU and then did a U-turn which is an admission that they were wrong. Perhaps Russia can help again! The options otherwise are dire and to close down the plant would lead to more energy problems surely.

Bulgaria's new centre-right government must find private investors for its majority stake in the planned Belene nuclear power plant or abandon the project, parliamentarians said on Thursday.

The government of the centre-right GERB party which won a general election earlier this month has said it will review major energy projects, including Bulgaria's participation in gas and oil pipeline projects, in the coming months.

The cabinet has said it cannot afford to take loans at a time of tight global liquidity and recession to fund its 51 percent stake in the 2,000 megawatt Belene project.
The parliamentary economic commission urged the government to seek a private investor or investors for its stake. The previous Socialist-led cabinet picked German utility RWE (RWEG.DE) for the remaining 49 percent in the multi-billion Belene plant.

"In times of crisis, it is very important to spend budget money in a reasonable way," state news agency BTA quoted Stoyan Mavrodiev of GERB,a deputy chairman of the commission, as saying.

"There are important sectors like social, pension, healthcare which depend on the budget."

Sofia is under pressure to cut billions in budget spending to avoid an year-end deficit after years of surpluses that could put pressure on the Balkan country's currency peg to the euro.

The previous administration wanted to build Belene on the Danube river as the country's second nuclear plant to recover Bulgaria's position as a major power exporter in the Balkans and meet European Union targets on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
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