The Bulgarian government will try to build at least one nuclear reactor at the functioning Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant on the banks of the Danube.
“The Ministry of Energy has started a study for the rapid construction of another nuclear reactor, most likely in Kozloduy, since this is a ready site with an environmental assessment and a work team,” Deputy Prime Minister Asen Vassilev said on Sunday March 13.
If the project starts this year, the reactor will be operational between 2028 and 2030, he predicted. Vassilev stated that Bulgaria could build a second new nuclear reactor to have a total of four nuclear power plants operational. Bulgaria has two new unused Russian nuclear reactors, but it’s unclear if it can use them because it means Russian company Rosatom will be invited to participate in the project.
Vasilev revealed two weeks ago that Greece is interested in buying electricity from a future new nuclear power plant in Bulgaria.
The deputy prime minister also said on Sunday that Bulgaria’s strategic goal is not to replace its own coal with Russian gas because doing so would mean losing additional sovereignty. Bulgaria will not use gas as a transition fuel to implement the Green Deal.
“In order to be able to extract and use the energy when we need it, we need to store it,” he added, referring to the planned future production of batteries in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria is planning to build a huge energy park to store electricity from renewable sources, and the idea is to produce batteries in Bulgaria. Deputy Prime Minister Vassilev said all the world’s major battery manufacturers have already been invited and the project is being led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to avoid “local games”.
“In terms of electricity, we are very little dependent on this war. By 2025 there will be fuel for the Kozloduy nuclear power plant. Coal is a national raw material of Bulgaria. There is enough water in the dams (for hydroelectric power plants). Only gas power plants are connected to the war and external sources of energy and their prices,” he said.
The most vulnerable part of the Bulgarian energy sector is the Toplofikacia – Sofia company, owned by the Sofia City Council. The company heats the homes of a million people in the Bulgarian capital and produces electricity from gas. Toplofikacia – Sofia is the biggest customer of the state gas company Bulgargaz and has accumulated debts of almost 500 million euros.