The Bulgarian Energy Ministry selected KHNP of Korea, RosAtom of Russia and CNNC of China as strategic investor candidates for the construction of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant, KHNP said on Dec. 20. The Belene Nuclear Power Plant is the second nuclear power plant that Bulgaria plans to build following the 2,000-megawatt Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant built in 1991 during the Soviet Union era. The project budget is estimated at 10 billion euros.
By being included in the shortlist for the Bulgarian project, KHNP has boosted the possibility of making a foray into the European nuclear power plant market. KHNP began to export nuclear power plants in 2009 by winning the UAE Barakah Nuclear Power Plant Project. The UAE plant will be based on the APR1400, a next-generation Korean nuclear reactor that is used in Shin Kori Units 3 and 4 in Korea.
The ARP1400 is a Korean nuclear reactor developed by KHNP with investment of about 230 billion won for 10 years from 1992. The nuclear reactor became the first non-U.S. type reactor to receive a design certificate (DC) from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). By receiving the DC, its safety was internationally recognized. In June, the company also won the maintenance project for the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, completing the entire cycle from the construction of the nuclear power plant to its design, operation and maintenance. However, U.S. and U.K. companies took part of the maintenance project for the nuclear power plant.
In July, KHNP officials visited Turkey and contacted local energy officials to prepare for nuclear power plant projects to be launched in that country. Earlier in May, the company also submitted a proposal to participate in the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan.