Russia proposes extension to Belene deal

11 August 2011

Russia's AtomStroyExport (ASE) has sent Bulgaria's National Electricity Company (NEK) a proposal to extend the agreement between the two companies on the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant. Although ASE was awarded a contract in 2006 to build the plant, disagreement on costs and how the project will be financed has held up construction. ASE's proposal comes in a draft supplement to the agreement and would extend it - but only until 1 December. ASE said that the draft "has been prepared in accordance with the roadmap of priority measures to implement the Belene nuclear power plant project." It expects to receive NEK's response by 15 August. ASE said that it expects the approval and signing of the supplement will come early enough so as to be "non-critical" for the creation of a project company as well as the implementation of bilateral agreements on the financial structuring of the project.