Toshiba Plans to Build Major Solar Energy Plant in Bulgaria

The solar energy photovoltaic plant will be located near the Bulgarian city of Yambol and will cost more than 100 billion yen (USD1.2 B), Japan’s Nikkei business daily said.

According to the report the plant is expected to be built by March 2012 with an output capacity of roughly 50 MW, which will be gradually increased to 250 MW in five years.

Toshiba, Tokyo Electric, Japanese trader Itochu and the government-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan will invest a total of around 50 billion yen, according to the report.

The Czech-owned power utility CEZ, which provides electricity to western Bulgaria, will also take part in the joint venture, investing as much as 20 billion yen.

The setting up of the consortium is expected to be on the agenda of next week’s meeting between Japanese Economy and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda and Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Traycho Traykov, who will be in Japan as part of an official delegation, headed by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

A Toshiba spokesman has declined to reveal details about the particular project, but confirmed that the company is developing solar power in Bulgaria.

In the middle of last year the company announced it is planning to invest in construction of solar power plants in the USA and countries in Europe, including Bulgaria. The company expects the yields from these investments to total USD 1,8 B by March 2016.