ECONOMY

Talks on importing electricity

SOFIA (Reuters) – Romania is in talks with Balkan neighbor Bulgaria to import power to make up for a recent closure of its only nuclear reactor on the Danube River due to low water levels, Bulgaria’s power export body said yesterday. «Exports to Romania may start in October; we are still discussing prices and amount,» said a spokeswoman for Bulgaria’s power export monopoly NETC. Last month, Romania closed the 750-megawatt reactor in Cernavoda, which went on stream in 1996 and accounts for 10 percent of the country’s power output. With last month’s low river flows and high water temperatures, nuclear power plants across Europe had faced shortages of cooling water they need to operate normally. Last month’s heat wave boosted Bulgaria’s power exports to Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro and Albania. Bulgaria now covers 94 percent of the region’s monthly power deficit, NETC said. Bulgaria exported a total of 3.2 billion kilowatt hours (KWh) of power from the beginning of this year to end-August. Electricity exports, which last year totaled some 6.2-6.3 billion KWh, are an important revenue source.