The lignite-fuelled plant is being built by the US firm AES, the Sofia news agency reports, in a total investment worth some $1.4 billion. The project is said to be one of the largest industrial undertakings under way in central and eastern Europe and could trigger the creation of up to 10,000 jobs, the report suggests.

The plant will comprise two thermal power units of 335MW each, and incorporates flue gas desulphurization equipment. It has taken some five years of negotiation with two successive governments to get the project off the ground.