Bulgaria’s National Electricity Company (NEK) has awarded a contract for design, construction and commissioning of Units 1 and 2 of the country’s Belene nuclear power plant to Russia’s Atomstroyexport.

The company will supply two of its VVER 1,000 MW light-water reactor units after it beat an offer led by the Czech company Skoda Alliance. The units, the new variant ?92 or V 466 type, are third generation reactors offering secondary containment, four train safety channels and passive safety elements.

The decision followed nearly a year and a half of assessment by NEK and others including the architect-engineer for the project Parsons E&C Bulgaria, and the financial consultant for the project Deloitte.

Operational life-time of the station is 60 years, according to a statement from NEK.

Atomstroyexport is understood to lead a consortium that also includes Areva I&C.