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In the beginning of 2008, the cost of the turnkey contract for the plant is assessed as approximately EUR 4 billion, without considering the escalation of prices during the construction process. 

In the following years, the economic aspects of the project are subject to extensive evaluation and discussion. There are a number of studies analyzing different scenarios and assumptions of the project economics. 

Examples are the analyses of WorleyParsons NS (2009), NERA (2011), HSBC (2012), ENTSO-E (2015) and the World Bank (2016).

Due to the significantly changed circumstances and economic parameters determining the conditions of the project implementation, at present it can be assumed that these analyses could not be representative without a thorough update.


In 2017, a report of the Vienna International Nuclear Competence Center (VINCC) was published, prepared under a contract with the Bulgarian Atomic Forum. The report concludes that the completion of the plant with an external investor and the state's participation under the Build-Own-Operate-Transfer scheme is the most appropriate option, which limits the financial risk and preserves the investment made so far.

In October 2017, a report was published on “Preparation of a National Strategy in the Field of Energy”, prepared by the Institute for Economic Research of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) upon a request by the Bulgarian Energy Holding.

The BAS report analyzes in depth the possibility for the Belene NPP project to be implemented on a market basis, as well as the options for separating the assets and liabilities of the National Electric Comapny (NEK) related to the Belene NPP project into a separate company in order to conduct the follow-up procedures as per the Act on Privatization and Post-Privatization Control.

The report includes financial analyses prepared to assess the viability of the Belene NPP construction and operation on the basis of a specially developed financial model.

The analysis of the different options with the help of this model leads to the conclusion that for implementation of Belene NPP, as a financially viable project, it is necessary to ensure satisfaction of a number of key conditions that depend on the state and the future investment costs and costs of financing the project debt.

In June 2018, the Council of Ministers adopted a decision revoking the decision of March 2012 to suspend further actions related to the implementation of the Belene project and instructing the Minister of Energy to resume the search of opportunities to build the plant together with a strategic investor.

Following that decision, in March 2019, NEK initiated a procedure for selection of a strategic investor for the Belene NPP project, which is currently ongoing.

The Bulgarian state, through NEK, reserves the right of blocking quota in making decisions on certain issues within the competence of the general meeting of shareholders in the project company.

According to the Eighth National Report on the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), published in 2019, from a licensing point of view there are no insurmountable obstacles to implementation of this approach.

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