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Bulgaria may resume construction of Belene nuclear power plant with Russian equipment

In December 2016, Moscow managed to turn the page related to the Belene project

MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Bulgaria is considering various possibilities of using Russian equipment made for the Belene nuclear power plant and it is also possible that project of the NPP construction will be resumed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Bulgarian journal International Relations.

"In December 2016, we managed to turn the page related to the Belene NPP project. After the Bulgarian party paid 600 mln euros to the Russian manufacturer, the manufactured equipment became its property," Lavrov said.

He said that "currently Sofia is considering various possibilities for the use [of the equipment]," in particular the project’s resumption.

Russian foreign minister recalled that in June 2017 Gazprom and Bulgaria’s Ministry of Energy signed a roadmap on the development of cooperation in the gas sector. This included exploration of possibilities to expand the Bulgarian gas transportation system.

Sofia refused to build a two-unit Belene nuclear power plant with a capacity of 2 GW in March 2012.

The government of Bulgaria, headed by the current Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, announced the termination of the project on March 28, 2012. The parliament supported the initiative to introduce a moratorium on the construction of the station.

On December 9, 2016, the National Electric Company (NEC) in accordance with the court's decision paid a debt of 601.6 mln euros for the Belene NPP and became the owner of equipment manufactured for the NPP.