Bulgaria's Energy Min Calls for Patience as Energy Exchange Opens for Test

Business » ENERGY | December 11, 2015, Friday // 18:03
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Energy Min Calls for Patience as Energy Exchange Opens for Test Bulgaria's Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova (L) with Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Director Internal Energy Market at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy. Photo: BGNES

It will take seven to eight months before Bulgarian household consumers are able to purchase electricity from the free market, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova has told public TV.

Her comments were made at the first trial launch of the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX), which is designed to kickstart the electricity market liberalization, a process officially beginning on January 01, 2016.

Petkova told reporters one of the key goals while liberalization was being implemented was that the Energy Ministry should define the group of "vulnerable consumers".

A work group between the EU Commission and the Energy Ministry was also set up on Friday to aid the liberalization process.

The Bulgarian News Agency also quotes Petkova as saying "real trade" at IBEX will be witnessed early next year.

Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, a EU official, also attended the test opening.

Earlier, Petkova, Borchardt and experts warned a slight increase in electricity prices is likely at the beginning, after the transition of the electricity market starts, but the market will later start to regulate prices as other actors joint the process.

"When more and more participants enter [the market], prices will fall," Borchardt also made clear.

Petkova asserted a "transitional" period will be in force until the autumn.

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Tags: IBEX, Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange, liberalization, electricity market, Temenuzhka Petkova, Petkova
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