Atomstroyexport advises Russian government to drop Bulgaria's Belene nuclear project - report

Russian nuclear power engineering company Atomstroyexport has advised its owner, state power corporation Rosatom, to drop Bulgaria's Belene nuclear power project, French daily La Tribune said, citing a letter that Atomstroyexport sent to its parent.
According to the Sofia Echo, Rosatom told Dnevnik it would not comment on the letter as it was an internal document and the company was yet to decide whether to exit the project. The proposed withdrawal would be considered a possibility only if Rosatom failed to sign its 12th consecutive agreement with Bulgaria, the company said.
Earlier on 7 February, Atomstroyexport said in a media statement that it would proceed with the construction works on the project.
"After signing the necessary contracts, Atomstroyexport will be ready to start building the Belene power plant in 2011," the company's vice president, Gennady Tepkyan, said.
Bulgaria's Economy and Energy Ministry declined to comment on the report.
NEK and Rosatom signed in late 2010 a memorandum of understanding on the creation of a project company for the construction of the Belene plant. Under the agreement, the Bulgarian company will have a 51 per cent in the new entity, while Rosatom will control 25 per cent, with the remainder to be divided between French technology consultancy Altran Technologies and Serbia.
Nothing has been said publicly about whether Belgrade has confirmed its participation in the project.

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