Vasko Kovacevski, manager of the state owned ELEM energy company, announced that it is abandoning plans to invest in the Bulgarian Belene nuclear plant, and will invest in a gas fired plant in Greece instead.

The nuclear option was being developed for a while, and it would’ve included Macedonia joining the construction of Belene, and receiving a share of the energy. The partially finished plant was supposed to be built using Russian technology, an idea that Bulgaria is now walking away from. Faced with costly damages toward Russia, Bulgaria frantically sought other investors to finalize the project, and Macedonia was a potential partner, but during an energy conference in Skopje the ELEM head today announced that we are out of the deal.

I want to point out that we are temporarily giving up on the planned investment in the Belene nuclear plant in the Republic of Bulgaria and are focusing on the possibility to invest in a gas plant near the LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli in the Republic of Greece. This plant would have installed capacity of 800 MW and we would own 25 percent of it, or 200 MW, which would significantly improve the performance of our company, Kovacevski said.

Greece is building an LNG plant under a US led strategic project to bring alternative sources of gas into the region.