Germany's RWE is poised to become the key investor in the project for the setting up of the Belene nuclear power plant (NPP), the Reuters reported, citing a source close to the process.
Bulgaria shortlisted earlier this month RWE and Belgian Electrabel, owned by France's Suez, for a 49 percent stake in the 4.0 bln euro (6.18 bln dollar) plant at the Danube River town of Belene.
“RWE is the clear favorite for now," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. “There are talks between the two bidders to see whether they can share the minority stake between them, with RWE having the leading role“.
“The process is at an advanced stage and the selection of a strategic partner for the project will be clear within days”, Economy and Energy Minister, Petar Dimitrov, said last week.
Bulgaria plans to build a 2,000-MW NPP, which will make the country once again the major power exporter in the Balkans, after it was forced by the EU to decommission four nuclear units at the Kozloduy NPP, as a condition for EU membership.
RWE has offered some 400 mln euros in investment immediately so that the project to build two 1,000-MW reactors could start quickly, the source said.
The nuclear units are expected to be operational in 2013-2014.
*Petar Dimitrov, Minister of Economy and Energy