On 22nd May this year, the call for the procedure for selecting a strategic investor for the Belene Nuclear Power Plant project was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The call also gave an opportunity to declare interest in acquiring a minority shareholding in the project, and/or for purchasing electricity from the power plant. Within the set deadline, 19th August, thirteen companies submitted their applications, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova announced.
Seven companies have expressed interest in participating as a strategic investor in the project – the Russian State Corporation "Rosatom" through the company "Atomenoergoprom", China National Nuclear Corporation, Korea Hydro Nuclear Power Co. Ltd, "Bektron-Liaz Technical Engineering"- a company registered in Germany, "Belene NPP" and "Nuclear Power Plant Belene 2019" consortiums, "IPK and UP" EOOD - a company registered in Bulgaria. The French company "Framatom" has declared interest in taking part in structuring the financing of the project for providing safety systems, including electrical, equipment and control systems and other. The US "General Electric" has declared interest in structuring the financing and in being a potential designer and a supplier of different packages, including turbine equipment, compressors, transformers and other.
Within 90 days a working group of representatives from the Ministry of Energy, Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD, Natsionalna Elektricheska Komapania EAD and Electricity System Operator EAD will prepare a shortlist of the companies that have expressed interest in taking part in the Belene project as strategic investors. The procedure is flexible and allows the selected strategic investor to negotiate with companies that have expressed interest in minority shareholding in the project or in purchasing electricity. The Republic of Northern Macedonia has expressed interest in acquiring a minority share in the project company and submitted an application for purchasing electricity from NPP Belene. An agreement procedure relating to the application is currently ongoing. An interest in minority shareholding in the nuclear power plant has also been expressed by the Bulgarian companies "Atomenergoremont" AD and "Grand Energy Distribution" EOOD. Applications for purchasing electricity are submitted by "Grand Energy Distribution" EOOD and by "European Trade of Energy" AD.
The indicative deadline for selecting strategic investors for the implementation of the Belene project is one year.