Bulgarian whistleblower leaks secret files on controversial Belene power plant project
A Bulgarian web portal has leaked secret documents pertaining to the failed project to build a second nuclear power facility in the town of Belene on the Danube, Bulgarian news agency novinite.com wrote.
“Bulgarian whistle blowing site Balkanleaks has published the classified documents about the now-notorious project to build a second Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene,” novinite.com wrote.
The documents revealed the details of a contract signed between Bulgaria’s electricity incumbent, NEK, and Russian nuclear power company Atomstroyexport. They detailed the failure of NEK to pay overdue invoices for millions of Euros.
Atomstroyexport, whose mother company is Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, has launched a law suit against NEK for the repayment of EUR 1 bln at a Paris-based International Court of Arbitration.
After a cat-and-mouse style race to launch and counter launch law suits for millions of Euros by the Russian and Bulgarian companies, it was recently revealed that the Russian company may agree to settle out of court.
The Belene project seems to have been jinxed from the start with protests by environmentalists and funding problems plaguing it since the 1990s. It has also seen the pull-out of strategic investor German RWE in 2009, only to be taken over by French bank BNP Paribas, which rejected the project at the start of 2010.
Bulgaria’s ruling center-right GERB party run government withdrew from the power plant project in March 2012. The opposition promptly called for a referendum to be held on the issue. It is likely to take place at the end of January, 2013.