| 05 December, 2016

China's CNNC interested in Bulgarian nuclear project -Bulgarian govt

SOFIA, Dec 5 (Reuters) - China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has expressed an interest in investing in a Bulgarian nuclear power project, Bulgaria's government said on Monday.

Sofia plans to privatise the Belene project on the Danube River after it pays more than 600 million euros ($642.54 million) in compensation to Russia's state nuclear giant Rosatom following the cancellation of the project.

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov told representatives of the Chinese state-owned company that the nuclear project can be built without state guarantees or obligatory long-term contracts from the state to purchase power from it.

"The representatives of the Chinese corporation confirmed their readiness to participate in the realisation of the project under such conditions," the office said in a statement.

Borisov's first government cancelled the 10-billion-euro Belene project in 2012 after failing to find foreign investors for the plans and under pressure from Brussels and Washington to limit the country's energy dependence on Russia.

An arbitration court ruled Bulgaria needs to pay back for the equipment it has ordered and Sofia now wants to attract investors to put to use at least one 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactor it would receive after the payment.

Borisov's government resigned last month after losing presidential elections and the fate of the Belene project will be decided by the country's next government, which should take office most likely after general elections in the spring.

($1 = 0.9338 euros)

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova, editing by Louise Heavens) ((; +359-2-93-99-731;))