NEXT CABINET TO MAKE A DECISION ON BELENE N-PLANT
Two candidates have purchased documents for participation in the tender for a contractor of the project for building the Belene N-plant, the Energy Ministry announced. As the BANKER weekly has written several times, back a year ago their names were in the confidential report of the US company Parsons (whose English subsidiary was picked as architect-engineer of the project in the beginning of 2005). One of the candidates is the consortium between Russia's Atomstroyexport and the French-German Framatom. The second one is also a consortium led by the Czech company Skoda Pilsen, owned by CEZ. The other participants in it are the US Citibank and the Italian bank group UniCredito. June 17, 2005 is the deadline for the purchase of tender dossiers, worth EUR70,000. By June 27 it will be decided if the bidders satisfy the pre-qualification requirements. The proposals themselves will be considered by July 17 when it will become known which players will submit final offers. Before that, however, they should deposit a guarantee of BGN5MN. According to the research of the project's financial consultants Deloitte Touche, a contribution in kind of Kozlodoui's units 5 and 6 into the company that will be building the second Bulgarian N-plant in Belene, is most advantageous for financing and implementation of the undertaking. That was pointed out by representatives of the consulting company at the energy forum, held in Sofia during the week. The contribution in kind would make easier the State's participation in the future company, in which it intends to hold a 51% stake and Belene's construction would be more attractive to the banks. The problem is that in order to make that contribution in kind (Kozlodoui's two operating 1,000-megawatt generators), approval is demanded from the creditors of the N-plant's modernization. The loans total EUR491MN - EUR212.5MN from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)/Euroatom, USD77MN from Citibank, and another USD80MN from ROSEXIMBANK. The credits are guaranteed by the State and in addition to Kozlodoui, the national Electricity Company (NEC) is a party under them, too.