Kozloduy nuclear power plant pays back loan

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bulgaria's sole nuclear power plant at Kozloduy on the Danube River said on November 14 that it paid back early a $52.5 million loan to Russia's state-owned Roseximbank, which it took to upgrade its two working 1000MW reactors.

The reason for the early repayment of the loan, due in 2021, was avoiding currency risks, the plant said, as quoted by website mediapool.bg. The loan was denominated in US dollars, while its revenue was in leva and euro, the plant operator said.

The plant would save 30.5 million leva by repaying the loan early – 22.8 million leva in interest payments and 7.7 million leva from the leva's appreciation against the US dollar since 2000.

It also eased the debt burden of state-owned power grid operator National Electricity Company (NEK), which guaranteed the loan. NEK is currently seeking financing for Bulgaria's second planned power plant at Belene, also on the Danube River, for which it hired Russia's Atomstroyexport to build twin 1000MW reactors at a total cost of four billion euro, although that price is now expected to rise heavily, to as much seven billion euro according to some analyst estimates, over the increase in global commodity prices.

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