For Sale: slightly built nuclear power plant

Bulgaria has stopped construction of its second nuclear power plant until it finds a new investor and funds to complete the project, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov told Tuesday’s edition of the daily 24Casa.

“The country has no money for an atomic power plant,” Borisov said. “We will build it when investors come.” (Novinite.com)

I think we can now begin to see the long-term impact that the financial crisis is having on state sponsored energy projects. What is interesting about this is that the Russians lobbied hard to keep construction going on this.  The Borisov government, according to Novinite,  “turned down a 2-billion-euro offer made by Moscow for a stake in the plant, which would have kept the construction work going.”

What is interesting is that Serbia expressed some interest in taking a 5% stake in the plant. Although that is pretty small. If this is going to be revived in the short term then more countries in the region should take bigger stakes in the project. Although this is doubtful, due both to the financial crisis and desire of all countries to be fairly energy independent in the region. As for private investors, it doesn’t seem that they are lining up after RWE pulled out last year.

The big question remains as what other regional projects, involving government financing,  are now under the microscope? What about the proposed merger of Nabucco and South Stream by the two Italian companies, Eni and Edison? Do Bulgaria and Hungary have enough financial muscle to proceed? South Stream is already under examination by the Bulgarians, what will be their conclusion? If they are ready to pull out of the nuclear deal with the Russians are they also prepared to pull out or renegotiate their gas pipeline deal too?