After two hours of debate, the Energy Committee of the National Assembly with 15 votes "for" and 6 "against" adopted a decision instructing the Minister of Energy Rumen Radev to conduct negotiations with the Minister of Energy of Ukraine or his representative in order to sell the equipment for the project Belene NPP. It is about equipment with a long production cycle, which is currently owned by NEK EAD.
The sale price cannot be lower than the one paid by NEK to Atomstroyexport in the amount of EUR 601,617,133 or BGN 1,176,660,837.
The deputies also included in their draft decision the obligation of the Minister of Energy to inform the representatives of the people about the negotiations and the actions taken. In addition, they also set a deadline of two months for the conduct of these negotiations.
It is important to note that this decision cancels the decision of the National Assembly of June 7, 2018 to resume actions to search for opportunities to build the Belene NPP together with a strategic investor, on a market basis and without providing state guarantee, by separating the assets and liabilities for the Belene NPP project into a separate company.
The document is about to enter the plenary hall and after debates on it and its approval will become a reality only after publication in the State Gazette.
The MPs from the parliamentary group of Vazrazhdane spoke categorically against the voted decision. At the very beginning of the meeting, the deputy Iskra Mihailova, after raising a question about the "urgent" convening of the energy commission, asked for a postponement of the decision to conduct negotiations on the sale of the equipment, so that the deputies could consider various hypotheses. In addition, according to her, such a question should only be discussed when our country has adopted an energy strategy.
Delyan Dobrev from GERB, for his part, explained that our country has a unique opportunity to offer this equipment to Ukraine, which needs it for units 3 and 4 of the Khmelnytsky NPP. "The only thing they lack there is the equipment that we have. Ukraine is the only buyer and Bulgaria the only seller. We are in a unique situation – to help Ukraine and get our money back,” he said. At the same time, he added that the Ukrainian side is not interested in all the equipment. Dobrev also commented that after the war in Ukraine, it will be impossible for Russia to build a headquarters in Bulgaria and, in this sense, use the equipment.
Dragomir Stoynev from BSP, for his part, pointed out that the Ukrainian side only wants the steam generators. Once again, he objected to the energy committee making decisions to tell the government what to do. Stoynev pointed out that our country is once again in an unusual situation. "We are the only country that sells equipment without being a manufacturer," he said.
Temenuzka Petkova from GERB, for her part, commented that the funds from the sale of the equipment should go to NEK and that the Ministry of Finance will not be able to take a single penny from them. She also raised the question that the deputies should receive step-by-step information from the Ministry of Energy, what is happening during the negotiations and defined the situation as "a good opportunity to implement this equipment."
At the beginning of the meeting, the Minister of Energy Rumen Radev announced that the equipment at the Belene NPP site is maintained in perfect condition. He raised the question of what will happen to this site, defining it at the same time as unique.
In response to a question, Minister Radev announced that a conversation was held with the Minister of Energy of Ukraine to conclude a memorandum to establish relations in the nuclear energy sector and, more precisely, to exchange knowledge, technology and personnel.