"Kozloduy-New Capacities" NPP to hold negotiations with Hyundai E&C by April 15, MPs from the Committees on Energy and Environment instructed

Energy / Bulgaria
3E news
article picture alt description

construction, delivery and commissioning of a nuclear power plant at the approved site in Kozloduy with AP1000 technology. The decision was made on the proposal of the deputies Delyan Dobrev from GERB and Stanislav Anastasov from DPS.

Only the representatives of the "Green Movement" to the PP expressed a categorical disagreement, according to whom "this is not the direction for energy development", and the war in Ukraine is proof that "it does not bring energy security".

Although it was admitted for discussion, the proposal of the PP-DB MPs with petitioners Vasil Stefanov and Ivaylo Mirchev on a decision to continue the selection procedure and negotiations with a potential builder in connection with the construction of the 7th and 8th blocks was not accepted at site #2 of Kozloduy NPP with AP1000 technology.

In the framework of the debate on the decision of the PP-DB, regardless of the fact that it was rejected, facts became known that caused questions among the deputies, which will probably be the subject of a closed joint meeting of the energy commission. One of the reasons was the established difference of 13 minutes between the entry of a report on the subject on behalf of the Minister of Energy. As it became clear, the report submitted to the parliament is the result of a view of the steering committee of a working group at the Ministry of Energy, 13 minutes earlier before it was accepted and certified by the same. It is on this document that the decision of the deputies from PP-DB was built, which implies the admission of negotiations with one of the companies on the short list - Bechtel Nuclear Power Company Limited.

The importers, Vasil Stefanov and Ivaylo Mirchev, motivated their proposal with the need for "competition". However, they did not give a clear enough answer to a question from the deputies, why only this American company was included, and not the other Fluor. They were only motivated by a letter from Westinghouse on the subject, which turned out to be "classified information". That, in turn, raised questions about the Energy Department task force's access to such information. "I am not sure that I can comment on a Westinghouse letter in this way in the commission," Stefanov stated.

On the other hand, Vazrazhdane stated that they only now have access to the submitted report of the working group.

The Deputy Minister of Energy Nikolay Nikolov, who was present at the meeting, was also asked about this steering committee or the so-called task force and for the Bechtel recommendation. "With such a project, it is good to have competition," said Deputy Minister Nikolov. He specified that both short-listed American companies, despite being subsidiaries, had submitted the results to the parent companies, which means they stand behind these applications. According to him, however, from the documents provided, it became clear that Fluor had negative financial results for three years, and therefore the recommendation was for Bechtel.

Delyan Dobrev, for his part, asked the question "on what grounds did this working group decide to prepare a report to the minister with a different short list, and not that of the company (NPP "Kozloduy" - New Capacities b.r.)". Deputy Taslakov's answer was: "in order to have competition". Rositsa Kirova from GERB asked who determined the criteria so that only one of the American companies remained. "I will answer you," said Delyan Dobrev - the working group, which called itself a steering committee.

PP-DB deputy Ivaylo Mirchev, for his part, suggested that the energy commission postpone its decision, arguing that it is better to spend three months to clear things up, instead of rushing, since so much money is involved, reasoning that all companies are world-class.

"The project cannot be delayed even one day," countered Delyan Dobrev. Stanislav Anastasov from DPS, for his part, expressed surprise that Ivaylo Mirchev is against the project for the 7th and 8th units of the Kozloduy NPP.

The deputies from PP-DB also motivated their proposal by the fact that the National Assembly makes a decision "through the head of the minister", and the petitioners reminded that the decision they proposed was for "awarding negotiations".

What did the deputies decide?

The adopted decision of the two commissions (on energy and environment) envisages the awarding of negotiations between "AEC Kozloduy-New Capacities" EAD and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. until April 15. Ltd, included in the short list of potential construction companies for the engineering, construction, supply and commissioning of a nuclear power plant at the approved site in Kozloduy in order to achieve the relevant conditions.

With the same decision, it is assigned to "NPP Kozloduy-New Capacities " to inform the National Assembly about the results of the negotiations and the actions taken.

The purpose of the National Assembly is not only to grant powers, but also to set requirements, explained the MP and Chairman of the Energy Commission Delyan Dobrev during the presentation of the decision. According to him, the goal is to first have a fixed price and construction period for the project. In addition, he said, an IPC contract should be concluded with Westinghouse and Hyundai "to know who is responsible for what". According to him, one of the important conditions is a commitment to ensure 30% of the activities of Bulgarian companies.

In this part of the published and already accepted proposal for a decision in the expected results of the negotiations section, it is written - "minimum 30% localization of the assigned construction and design activities for stage EP+C. To present a preliminary plan for providing the necessary workforce to ensure the implementation of the assigned activities within the high-level preliminary schedule adopted by the National Assembly for the construction of the 7th unit of the Kozloduy NPP with AP1000 technology and ensuring compliance with the requirements of the labor legislation of the Republic of Bulgaria".

In the "Guarantee of the financial framework of the project" part, readiness is required during the negotiations for concluding an EP+C contract to present a fixed price for the entire volume of construction and installation activities assigned with a detailed breakdown of the price and a clear methodology for indexation of the presented prices during the execution of the EP+C contract.

In terms of a full guarantee for the quality of the performed activities, full responsibility is required in accordance with the existing requirements at the national level. Requirements for standards, rules, etc. are also recorded.

In addition, an accelerated schedule for the construction of the new nuclear facilities has also been set. Here, the requirement is to guarantee the deadlines for the implementation of the assigned activities. For example, for the main construction and installation activities for the 7th block, the term should be a maximum of 60 months from the date of laying the first concrete, and for the 8th energy block - 54 months from the pouring of the first concrete.

The requirement under the engineering contract, phase 1 refers to the maximum fixed price for carrying out the engineering activities up to the stage of conclusion of the EP+C contract to be EUR 200 million excluding VAT and price breakdown. The implementation period is set at 12 months. In addition, the scope must ensure the development of a conceptual design for all parts of the 7th power unit project that are within the scope of the construction company, upon achieving the relevant set criteria. Accordingly, there are also requirements for securing external financing.

As Dobrev explained, the requirements are in order not to repeat the mistakes made in the Belene NPP project, including the inflation level, the early ordering of equipment, etc.

The proposal of the PP led to a request by Iskra Mihailova from Vazrazhdane for a closed session. The chairman of the energy commission, for his part, ordered that the opinion of the companies referred to in the report of the working group to the Ministry of Energy be requested.

The joint decision of the deputies from the two committees (on energy and environment) is expected to be voted on in the plenary hall on Friday.




More from Bulgaria: