EU Commission Accuses Bulgarian Energy Holding of Gas Market Abuse
State-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) has been charged with breaching EU anti-trust rules, the European Commission said on Monday.
In a statement to the media it accused the BEH of barring competitors' access to elements of Bulgaria's gas infrastructure.
In the words of EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, barriers have to be broken down so "businesses can enjoy more competitive energy prices and security of supply."
"Historically BEH is the state-owned energy operator in Bulgaria. It is vertically integrated, which means it delivers gas and its subsidiaries own or control the domestic gas network, the single gas deposit in Bulgaria and the capacity of the main pipeline to import gas in Bulgaria," the statement also reads.
The Commission now fears "BEH and its subsidiaries denied competitors access to their gas transportation grid and to the gas storage facility and booked a capacity that is not needed for imports."
The message was also sent to Bulgartransgaz and Bulgargaz, the grid operator and public supplier respectively.
In July 2013, proceedings were launched by Brussels on suspicions of BEH's dominant market position.
Monday's statement of Brussels is preliminary and does not include conclusive findings of the proceedings.
The holding wrote on its website it was already informed by the EU Commission and vowed to "continue cooperation with the European Commission to overcome all kinds of concern in a constructive way".
The holding promises to make itself familiar with the Commission's objections and preliminary statement about supposed hindrance of third-party access to the pipeline system.
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