Oil Report

Russia to fund Bulgaria Belene nuclear project

SOFIA, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Russia will extend funding to Bulgaria for the construction of the stalled Belene nuclear power plant project until Sofia finds a strategic investor, Bulgaria’s economy and energy minister said on Friday.

Traicho Traikov told a news conference after meeting Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the Rosatom state nuclear corporation, that details on the funding would be worked out in March.

Traikov added that the Balkan country would not provide any state guarantees for the offered funding.

Kiriyenko said Rosatom, which controls Atomstroyexport contracted by Sofia to build Belene, was ready to both extend a loan and become a shareholder in the planned 2,000 megawatt plant on the Danube.

Work on the project needed funding of up to 1.9 billion euros ($2.56 billion) this year and next, Kiriyenko said. (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Writing by Anna Mudeva; Editing by Keiron Henderson)