HSBC chosen as consultant for Bulgaria's Belene nuclear project

Bulgarian Energy Holdings (BEH) has picked HSBC to be the strategy and financial adviser on the Belene nuclear power plant project.
According to Nuclear Engineering International, the UK bank will now carry out a financial assessment of the project, comprising two Russian VVER-1000 reactors to determine if it is economically feasible.
HSBC was selected following a competitive international tender process. Six candidates had submitted documents to bid in the selection process to become a consultant for Belene - HSBC, Societe Generale, KPMG in a consortium with McGuire, Rothschild, Argil, and Ernst & Young.
In a statement BEH outlined HSBC’s mandate. It includes: preparation of the project development concept with focus on financing and contractual arrangements; production of a regional electricity market analysis and demand study; and the development of an economic and financial model for Belene NPP. HSBC will also assist BEH in negotiations with potential strategic investors and will be responsible for preparing the necessary commercial and legal documents.
BEH said that HSBC’s first task will be to produce a report indicating its view of the contract development, which will address organizational and technical aspects of the contract, anticipated problems and provide recommendations.
Last month National Electric Company (NEK) signed an agreement with Atomstroyexport, prolonging the term for final approval of the Belene EPC contract until 30 June 2011. The parities also said that in the period to end June they will carry out a detailed safety assessment of Belene, in light of the recent events in Japan.
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