Bulgaria's Energy Board to Start Functioning in а Week
Bulgaria's energy board is to be structured by the end of next week, according to Ekaterina Zaharieva, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister.
The developments surrounding the energy board were reported after a meeting of Zaharieva and caretaker Economy and Energy Minister Vasil Shtonov with representatives of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) and the Podkrepa Labor Confederation.
"The main goal of the energy board of the energy board is to propose solutions for the stabilization of the sector, which is on the verge of collapse, due to imbalances accumulated as a result of inefficient decisions made under political pressure," Zaharieva stated, as cited by Sega daily.
"The energy board will be an efficient expert body comprising representatives of all interested parties. It will have to take the first essential steps to rescue the sector, as there is a real risk of the system collapsing in October," Zaharieva said, adding that the National Electric Company (NEK) kept running up losses of BGN 50 M a month and failing to transfer payments to companies.
She made clear that she had ordered a full inspection into the payments made by the heavily indebted state-owned company NEK to establish the criteria it was using.
Bulgaria's caretaker Deputy Prime Minister specified that the energy board would prepare changes to the Energy Act which would allow the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) to stop being a political body and turn into an expert entity, thereby providing professional and efficient monitoring of the energy and water sector.
Zaharieva is to discuss the need for reform and stabilization of the energy sector in Bulgaria with EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.
Zaharieva, accompanied by caretaker Economy and Energy Minister Vasil Shtonov, headed to Brussels on Monday to attend the meeting.
During the visit to Brussels, Zaharieva and Shtonov will also meet with representatives of the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission, according to the press office of the caretaker government.
The agenda of the talks is to include important energy infrastructure projects, the risk of a Russian gas cut-off, and the need for greater cohesion on energy issues in the EU.
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