An expert report, demonstrating the unfitness of the first unit of the “Belene” Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), built by Russia’s Atomstroyexport (ACE), has been provided to the Minister of Energy in the former government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. It gives a serious argument to the Bulgarian side in the arbitration case of ACE against the Bulgarian National Electric Company (NEC), the former Director of the “Belene” NPP, Engineer (Eng.) Ilcho Kostov, says in a letter to the Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova, sent at the end of 2014. However, Borisov’s government turned a blind eye and the evidence was not used by the defense lawyers in the arbitration case. In the end, Bulgaria was ordered to pay Russia 1.2 billion levs.
The competence and authority of Eng. Kostov are indisputable. From 1989 to 1991, he was Deputy Director of Directorate “Control, Quality and Laboratories” and was in charge of construction activities for the first unit of “Belene” NPP to elevation 13,200. Then, he worked on the conservation of the site and from 2003 to 2005 was the manager of the branch “Belene” NPP and assisted in all activities related to the licensing and preparation of tender documents for the construction of the plant. From 2005 to 2012, as a senior “construction activities” expert, he was directly involved in all negotiations with the Russian side for the “Belene” NPP project.
A summary of the first part of the interview with the expert can be found here.
Bivol is in possession of the letter (in Bulgarian) provided by Eng. Ilcho Kostov.
Ultimately, thanks to the deliberate inaction of its government, Bulgaria did pay over one billion levs for a flopped project. The money was transferred with amazing speed by Borisov and the deadlines to file appeals were purposely missed.
Now, after the disclosures of Eng. Kostov, there is serious evidence of large-scale crimes against the state. The caretaker government has the opportunity to launch an audit and initiate an investigation by the prosecution to establish who is responsible for the damage of 1.2 billion levs inflicted on the Bulgarian taxpayer. Its actions will show whether this government is yet another successor and follower of the Communist regime policy of bowing to the Russians.
This post is also available in: Bulgarian