The intergovernmental agreement between the US and Bulgaria, nuclear cooperation and renewable technologies were among the topics discussed at a meeting between the Energy Ministry team and a US Embassy delegation.
Energy Minister Rumen Radev presented the general priorities of the Ministry’s team regarding energy policy and strategy for the development of the energy sector, focusing on cooperation with the US in the area of nuclear energy. In this context, the steps taken towards the finalisation of the IGA were also discussed. According to the Parliament’s decision, there is a forthcoming conclusion of an agreement on the construction of new nuclear power capacity at Kozloduy Nuclear Power plant with AP1000 technology (Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant Unit 7).
Ambassador Kenneth Merten underlined that a significant amount of work has been completed so far and described the agreement as a “new era of cooperation between the two sides”. He said Bulgaria could be one of the first countries in Europe to have an AP 1000 reactor installed and running, which represents an exceptional opportunity. The Ambassador was also interested in the licensing process for the new fresh nuclear fuel and touched on the topic of small modular reactors which are a very promising technology.
The parties also discussed the licensing of fresh nuclear fuel from Westinghouse Electric Sweden as an essential part of the Government’s action to ensure the diversification of supplies.
Another discussed issue was the diversification of natural gas supplies, with Deputy Minister Iva Petrova welcoming the interconnector between Bulgaria and Greece as a turning point “because it provides access to the LNG terminal and the Southern Gas Corridor through which natural gas is transported from Azerbaijan to us. A further key project is the LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis, where Bulgaria participates through its company, Bulgartransgaz. We hope it will start operation by the end of the year. Bulgargaz has a reserved capacity of 1 billion cubic metres (bcm) at the terminal. We are working on interconnectors with Serbia and North Macedonia, along with increasing the capacity of the UGS Chiren. We take part in the Joint Gas Supply Platform launched by the EC. These efforts have resulted in securing supplies and diversification for both, our country and the South East European region.”
The US Ambassador stated that he was glad to see how successful and proactive Bulgaria was in terms of the security of supply of natural gas and diversification of sources and routes, and praised our country’s good relations with other countries in the region.