Toshiba and Tokyo Electric Power plan to take on a Japanese government-sponsored project to build a large-scale solar plant in Bulgaria, AFP reported Friday.
The massive power station will be constructed in Yambol, a city in the southeastern region on the Tundzha river, and will cost over 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion).
The project, slated for a March 2012 completion date, comes as the Eastern European nation scrambles to meet uncompromising European Union carbon emissions cuts. The new regulations aim to slash 1990 levels by 20 percent by the year 2020.
Bulgaria currently draws seven percent of its nationwide power from renewable energy sources. With the addition of the ambitious solar station, it hopes to increase that number to 16 percent.
The plant will reportedly generate about 50,000 kilowatts to start. That output capacity will be upped to 250,000 kilowatts in five years.
Toshiba and Tokyo Electric will team up with Japanese trader Itochu and the government backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan to set up a local joint venture worth about 50 billion yen, AFP reports.
About 20 billion yen in the joint venture will come from CEZ Group, the seventh-ranked European energy company.
AFP reports that Japanese Economy and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda and Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Traycho will agree to back the venture at a meeting early next week.