Five express interest in Kozloduy new nuclear construction

05 February 2024

The deadline to express an interest in the construction of the proposed two new units at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria has passed, with five companies submitting applications.

Kozloduy supplies about one-third of Bulgaria's electricity (Image: Kozloduy NPP)

In a statement issued on the Kozloduy plant's website the new build project company said that the applications will now be considered, following the passing of Friday afternoon's deadline. The new units are to be Westinghouse AP1000 reactors.

The initial part of the selection process will be to check that those expressing an interest meet the qualifying criteria. These include demonstrating construction experience and the commissioning of at least two nuclear units as well as "to have solid experience in the nuclear and turbine island of at least two units or have supplied and installed equipment for two units within the last 15 years - applicants must also demonstrate at least USD6 billion in turnover and profit for the five years period from 2018 to 2022". Candidates from the Russian Federation have been specifically excluded.

Bulgaria is aiming to have two new Westinghouse AP1000 units at Kozloduy nuclear power plant. Deputy Energy Minister Nikolay Nikolov told Bulgaria's official BTA news agency in December that the aim was to achieve a price of about EUR6 billion (USD6.5 billion) for each of the units.

Kozloduy units 1-4 were VVER-440 models which the European Commission had classified as non-upgradeable and Bulgaria agreed to close them during negotiations to join the European Union in 2007. Units 5 and 6 feature VVER-1000 reactors that were connected to the grid in 1987 and 1991, respectively. Both units have been through refurbishment and life extension programmes to enable extension of operation from 30 to 60 years.

When the decision to move ahead with AP1000 units at Kozloduy was given approval by the country's council of ministers in October, the target date for the completion of the first unit was 2033, with the second unit to follow "two or three years after the first one". The 2300 MWe capacity of the two new units would exceed the 1760 MWe capacity of the closed first four units. The Bulgarian government has also said that further units will be needed to replace units 5 and 6 by 2050.

Westinghouse will hold overall Design Authority responsibility for the AP1000 plant, the expression of interest document said, adding: "The responsibilities for the design of individual AP1000 plant systems and buildings shall be delegated by Westinghouse. The responsibility for the design of Modules, Constructions Assemblies and Platforms is aligned with the party that is responsible for the design of the building in which the item is located."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News