Dimitrov expects that on Friday, when Russian President Vladimir Putin will be in Bulgaria, an agreement will be signed on the building of two reactors at Belene with the contractor Atomstroy Export. The chief international subcontractors are Areva and Siemens. The construction of the plant is to begin later this year.
The first reactor will go into operation in 2013, and the second reactor in 2014. The electricity to be generated by Belene will cost between 3.6 and 3.7 euro cents per kWh.
With its two 1,000 MW reactors, Belene will give Bulgaria as much electricity as would be generated if the whole country was covered by wind farms, Dimitrov said. According to him, Belene is the most advantageous energy project for Bulgaria.
The electricity deficit in the region is expected to reach 50 per cent in the coming years, Dimitrov said. The opportunity to generate cheap electricity is in accordance with this country's economic interests, he noted. Although Bulgaria is not obliged to sell electricity from the future plant to other countries in the region, it is in Bulgaria's interests to ensure that the region has enough electricity and develops well economically.
Belene Enterprise CEO Yordan Georgiev said Belene is currently the best European project in terms of safety. The nuclear plant will not have any adverse impact on the environment, he said. He noted that 97.2 per cent of local people approve of the building of the plant.
According to National Electric Company Executive Director Lyubomir Velkov, no delays are expected in the building of the plant. The Government has approved a 600 million euro guarantee to Euratom and the European Investment Bank, he recalled.