June 18, 2020 / 8:37 AM / 21 days ago

UPDATE 1-Rosatom, Framatome, GE team up for Bulgarian nuclear tender

(Adds, details, background)

MOSCOW/SOFIA, June 18 (Reuters) - Russia’s state nuclear company Rosatom said on Thursday it has teamed up with France’s Framatome and GE Steam Power from the United States to bid in a tender to build Bulgaria’s Belene nuclear power plant project.

The Balkan country had to delay the tender process for the 10-billion-euros nuclear project because of coronavirus restrictions.

Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova told the parliament on Thursday that the teaming up of the three companies was a clear sign that the tender would be very competitive and the project viable.

Sofia has revived the Belene project, in the north of the country, to make use of two nuclear reactors it bought for more than 620 million euros from Rosatom in compensation for scrapping an original project in 2012. The plan is for the project to be operational in 10 years.

China’s CNNC and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co are also candidates to invest in the building of the two 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactors at the Belene site on the Danube River.

Rosatom said that under a memorandum of understanding, if Rosatom wins the tender for the strategic investor, GE Steam Power will provide the turbines for the project, while Framatome, majority owned by EDF, will provide automation and control systems.

Reporting by Maxim Rodionov and Anton Kolodyazhnyy in Moscow and Tsvetelia Tsolova in Sofia. Editing by Jane Merriman

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