Toshiba to build solar plant in Bulgaria
Tokyo - Toshiba and Tokyo Electric Power will team up with the Japanese government to build one of the world's largest solar power stations in Bulgaria, a report said on Friday.
The plant will be built in the eastern city of Yambol by March 2012 at a cost of more than ¥100bn ($1.2bn), Japan's Nikkei daily said.
As an EU member, Bulgaria needs quickly to bolster its sources of renewable energy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The EU has an aggressive goal to unilaterally cut carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, as compared to a benchmark year of 1990.
By tapping Japanese technology, the eastern European nation aims to pave the way for obtaining 16% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2020, up from roughly 7% now, the report said.
Toshiba, Tokyo Electric, Japanese trader Itochu and the government-backed Innovation Network Corp of Japan will set up a local joint venture, investing a total of around ¥50bn.
CEZ Group, the seventh-ranked European power utility, will also take part in the joint venture, contributing as much as ¥20bn, according to the report.
Japanese Economy and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda and Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Traycho Traykov will agree to support the consortium at a meeting early next week, the Nikkei said.
"It is true that Toshiba is carrying out various activities for developing solar power in Bulgaria," a Toshiba spokesperson said. "But we cannot comment on a specific project and nothing has been decided yet."
The plant will start with an output capacity of roughly 50 000kW. The capacity will gradually be increased to 250 000kW in five years, the daily reported.