Bulgaria's Energy Watchdog Chair Vows Equal Treatment of Large, Small Companies
Bulgaria's State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) treats all energy and water and sewerage companies it monitors the same way, regardless of their size, according to Evgenia Haritonova, Chair of the energy watchdog.
Asked to offer comments after the first public review of the license of power distributor CEZ, Haritonova, as cited by the Focus news agency, said that the energy watchdog would be very careful with the license withdrawal procedure of CEZ because the step would affect a large number of people.
She explained that the current procedure was the first license withdrawal procedure in the energy sector and Bulgaria could not afford to commit a violation or endanger electricity supply to the Western part of the country.
Asked why a license withdrawal procedure of CEZ only had been launched, given that a recent report of the Public Financial Inspection Agency (PFIA) revealed similar violations at all three power distributors in the country, Haritonova failed to provide a concrete answer.
She pointed out that the probe in question and the issue of withdrawing the license of CEZ had been triggered by a tip-off of the prosecuting authority to the energy watchdog.
The DKEVR claimed that the question referred to a period of time when she had been absent and she could not say whether the probe involved EVN, CEZ, or Energo-Pro.
"They obviously started with CEZ, that is all I can say," the DKEVR Chair noted.
She told journalists that the violations of the two units of CEZ, CEZ Electro Bulgaria and CEZ Razpredelenie, of public procurement regulations were very serious and involved large sums of money.
The DKEVR Chair assured that the two units of CEZ would be fined for the infringements.
She reminded that DKEVR would request information concerning the operations of CEZ Electro Bulgaria and CEZ Razpredelenie from the Defense Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Transport Ministry, the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism, the Sofia Municipality, district governors, the Commission on Protection of Competition, the Commission for Consumer Protection, and the prosecutor's office.
Haritonova informed that a new open session of DKEVR would be held after necessary information had been gathered, with representatives of CEZ in attendance, in order to set a date for a next closed sitting of the energy watchdog to announce the final decision on the withdrawal of the licenses of the two units of CEZ.
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