Bulgarian Energy Watchdog Seeks Lower Power Prices from US-Owned TPPs
Bulgaria's energy watchdog has sought changes to the contracts with US-owned thermal power plants AES-3C Maritza East 1 EOOD and Contur Global Maritsa Iztok-3.
Bulgaria's State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) seeks changes to the long-term contracts signed in 2001 between the National Electric Company (NEK) and the thermal power plants AES-3C Maritza East 1 EOOD and Contur Global Maritsa Iztok-3, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).
The proposed amendments envisage substantial changes to the price of electricity purchased from the two TPPs as well as free market sales.
Under the new agreement, the full cost of energy bought from AES-3C Maritza East 1 is to drop by 30% and the electricity produced by one unit of the TPP is to be sold on the free market.
Apart from that, the full cost of electricity purchased from Contur Global Maritsa Iztok-3 is to be reduced by 20% and the electricity produced by two units of the TPP is to be sold on the free market.
The decrease in the cost of electricity purchased by the two TPPs is to reduce the expenses of the National Electric Company (NEK) by BGN 424 M in the next pricing period and the positive impact of the measure for the entire period of the long-term contracts is estimated at BGN 5.4 B.
DKEVR also proposes that the Finance Minister inform the European Commission about the need to revise the terms of the existing agreements as they have been found to be incompatible with EU requirements for competitive market conditions, placing the two TPPs in a more advantageous position.
According to DKEVR, the problem has been recognized by EU institutions and the conclusions of their probe define such contracts as unauthorized state aid.
DKEVR also proposes legal changes which would enable it to determine the quantities of renewable energy purchased by NEK at preferential prices on an annual basis based on consumption statistics.
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