SOFIA, January 22 (Itar-Tass) – Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov’s statement that the Belene nuclear plant project would take ten billion euro from the Bulgarian state budget excites big surprise, Sergei Novikov, a department director from Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, told Itar-Tass over the phone on Tuesday.
“One of Bulgaria’s conditions voiced by its prime minister at the Sofia talks in 2010 was to avoid state budgetary expenditures to finance the Belene nuclear plant project,” he said. “In November 2010, we proposed to build the nuclear plant at the expense of our own resources. Depending on its share (51 percent), the Bulgarian was to meet its share of expenditures from the sale of electricity generated by the plant with a payoff term of about 19 years. Thus, it would not spend a single lev (national currency unit) from the state budget.”
But, according to Novikov, the Bulgarian side took a strange position at the Moscow talks in 2010. It said that since the plant was located in Bulgaria, all proceeds should go to the Bulgarian state budget. “We offered to build a nuclear plant that would produce electricity that could be sold to pay off to all participants in the project,” Novikov stressed.
“It was the Boiko Borisov government, not the previous government or anybody from outside, who decided to turn down such a profitable scheme. It was Borisov who took a decision not to build the power plant that would cost nothing to the country’s budget,” he said and added that Rosatom was ready to meet the requirements of Bulgaria’s holding the majority stake (51 percent) in the project and of attracting foreign investors.
“As for the Belene project cost, I would like to remind that in 2010 the cost of the construction of two power units was 6.297 billion euro. And Prime Minister Borisov is fully aware of that. The statement of the Bulgarian side about the project cost of ten billion is a sheer manipulation with figures. If they seek to include the auxiliary infrastructure – electric grids and a town to be built – into the project cost, there will be no ending to increasing expenditures. But it is not right to consider this as the cost of the plant,” he emphasized.