Bulgaria says seven international companies and consortiums have expressed interest in becoming strategic investors in the construction of the country's second nuclear power plant.
Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said on August 20 that Russia's Rosatom and China's CNNC have filed applications for investing in the twin-reactor, 10-billion-euro ($11 billion) project.
The other candidates to build the 2,000-megawatt plant near Belene on the Danube River are South Korea's KHNP and four smaller companies and consortiums from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Germany, Petkova said.
General Electric and France's Framatome have also filed applications for financing and supplying equipment for the facility.
Bulgaria currently operates a Soviet-built 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant at Kozloduy, also on the Danube.
Plans to build a second nuclear plant at Belene have met with opposition amid concerns over the project's economic viability and Russia's influence in Bulgaria’s energy sector
But Petkova insisted Belene was "a serious project" and that her ministry already received four bids from potential buyers of the electricity from the planned facility.
The Energy Ministry will now shortlist candidates who will be invited to submit binding offers, she said.
In 2012, Sofia scrapped a 2006 deal with a Rosatom subsidiary, Atomstroyexport, to build the facility because of a lack of funding.
The move angered Moscow, and Bulgaria had to pay the Russian company some 602 million euros ($668 million) in compensation.