Russia has requested the maximum possible price for the Belene NPP project in Saturday's negotiations, revealed Bulgarian Minister of Economy and Energy Traicho Traikov Tuesday.
The price of Belene NPP had been set initially at EUR 4 B with possible escalation, but Saturday the Russian party had requested the maximum raise previewed, which makes the total price some BGN 6.3 B.
"We must change the metaphor for Belene NPP. You've got a car that can cost only EUR 4 B when painted white and EUR 6.3 B when painted silver, and you have the Russian side saying: "We produce only silver cars," quipped the Bulgarian energy minister.
The Bulgarian government has made it clear that this price is unacceptable
Belene, Bulgaria's second NPP is contracted to be constructed by Russian company Atomstroyexport.
In the meanwhile, Tuesday Traikov also announced that the government has chosen major UK bank HSBC for a financial consultant to help it decide how to proceed and attract investors for the project.
The Bulgarian government has insisted it will not proceed with Belene NPP until it has found adequate financial support. It has also made it clear that the project will not be state-sponsored and no state guarantees will be given, but will rather be a purely economic investment.