May 22, 2018 / 3:16 PM / 4 months ago

Russia's Rosatom ready to pitch for Bulgarian nuclear project

SOCHI, Russia, May 22 (Reuters) - Russian state nuclear company Rosatom is ready to take part in a tender to develop Bulgaria’s Belene nuclear power plant, Rosatom head Alexei Likhachev said on Tuesday.

Bulgaria is reviving plans for the plant and is open to Russian participation, its president Rumen Radev said on Monday, a day before meeting President Vladimir Putin.

The 2,000 megawatt plant was cancelled in 2012 after failing to find investors. Bulgaria had also faced pressure from Washington and Brussels to limit its energy dependence on Russia, which was under contract to build the plant.

However, the Bulgarian government decided last week to ask parliament to lift a ban on the development of the plant.

“All of us are waiting for the decision of Bulgaria’s parliament,” Likhachev told reporters in the Black Sea resort of Sochi following the meeting between Putin and Radev.

“We are not aware of the economic model which will be proposed and chosen by the Bulgarian side for the completion of this project ... Rosatom plans to take part in it in any case.”

Bulgaria had to pay more than 620 million euros ($730 million) to Rosatom for cancelling the Belene project, but also received nuclear parts for two 1,000 megawatt reactors. As a result, the country has to decide what to do with the equipment. ($1 = 0.8488 euros) (Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; writing by Polina Devitt; editing by Alexander Smith)

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