Russian company Atomstroyexport, the contractor of the Belene nuclear power project, may decide to more than double, to 130 million euro, the amount of its claim against Bulgaria's state-owned power utility NEK because of delays in payments for work on the nuclear facility, Atomstroyexport's head Alexander Glukhov told journalists on October 26 2011.
In July, the Russian company filed a 58 million euro suit against NEK, claiming that it had carried out work on the country's planned second nuclear facility for which it had not been paid.
In early October, Bulgaria's Economy Minister Traicho Traikov said that the country had submitted a counter-claim against Atomstroyexport because of delays in payments for purchases of old equipment for the plant. Meanwhile, the parties agreed to freeze negotiations on the project by the end of March 2012.
Atomstroyexport is considering an increase in the size of its claim as deferments for ordered equipment worth about 70 million euro have already expired, Glukhov said, as quoted by mediapool.bg.
"The amount, however, is not significant and it will not hinder negotiations," he said.
Meanwhile, Sergey Kiriyenko, head of Atomstroyexport's parent, Russian nuclear power corporation Rosatom, reiterated on October 25 Moscow's willingness to finance up to 100 per cent of the project costs, saying that the amount depended on the decision of the Bulgarian government.