ECONOMY

Oman Oil interested in Bulgaria

SOFIA (Reuters) – The state-run Oman Oil Company has expressed interest in investing in a -4 billion ($5.2 billion) nuclear power plant in Bulgaria and in a trans-Balkan oil pipeline, the Bulgarian Energy Ministry announced yesterday. During a visit of Energy Minister Rumen Ovcharov to Oman, the company said it was ready to take part as a strategic investor in a 2,000-megawatt nuclear plant on the Danube River town of Belene, the Energy Ministry said in a statement. Oman Oil also said it was ready to invest in a -700 million trans-Balkan oil pipeline that would carry Ural and Caspian crude from Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Burgas to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis. Bulgaria, Greece and Russia are due to sign a draft agreement on construction of the pipeline on Wednesday. The ministry did not give details on the amount of the possible investments or timelines for any of the projects. Bulgaria contracted Russia’s Atomstoryexport to build a second nuclear plant at Belene as it aims to keep its position of leading power exporter in Southeast Europe after the closure of two 440-megawatt units at the Kozloduy nuclear plant. The EU newcomer plans to keep a 51 percent stake in the new plant and is seeking a strategic investor for the remaining shares. It has said it plans to seek investment from the export agencies of the chosen builders – Russia, France and Germany – and from leading investment banks, Europe’s Euroatom and the European Investment Bank.