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Energy Blast – July 7, 2010

After one year’s standstill Bulgaria has agreed to serve as a transit country for the South Stream pipeline with, the Moscow Times suggests, the Kremlin sweetening the deal through ‘additional rewards’Bloomberg reports that Bulgaria aims to limit the cost of the Belene nuclear plant being built by Russia’s Atomstroyexport to $8.8 billion.  Bulgaria continues to make payments to the Russian contractor for the construction of the first reactor of the plant, despite the lack of a strategic investor.  The FT has an interview with Bulgaria’s Prime Minister in which he apparently makes clear that Sofia is no longer interested in the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline, due to fears of a replay of the Gulf of Mexico spill.  Enel plans to boost power output in Russia by 21% to 47 terawatt-hours in 2011, compared with 39 terawatt-hours in 2009.  BP’s CEO Tony Hayward has visited Azerbaijan in an attempt to calm fears that his company may sell assets in the country to help finance the Deepwater Horizon clean-up operation.  Russia and Kazakhstan have, RFE/RL reports, signed agreements on cooperation in civilian nuclear power and hydropower projects.