Bulgarian Energy Minister Foresees No Power Price Hike Until Summer
Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova foresees no increase in the price of electricity at least until the summer.
The price will remain at the level determined by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (KEVR) until the next planned review of prices in the summer.
In an interview for private NOVA TV on Monday, Petkova assured that until then there will be no changes to the price of electricity.
Petkova reminded that a process of liberalisation of the electricity market is forthcoming during the new year.
In her words, Bulgarians should not be worried by the liberalisation as consumers will have the opportunity to choose their electricity supplier, which will increase competition between suppliers.
A trial of the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX) was launched on December 11 last year and it will start fully functioning at the middle of January.
During the trial, a price of BGN 74.32 per megawatt was achieved.
For comparison, the price per megawatt at the energy exchange in Romania is BGN 73, that in the Czech Republic is BGN 80, while in Hungary it is BGN 62.
As regards the dispute between the largest Bulgarian private gas supplier Overgas and Russian natural gas giant Gazprom, Petkova noted that the developments unravelled very quickly.
She added that the Bulgarian state had taken all necessary measures to prevent the halting of gas supplies to nearly 200 000 consumers.
Petkova pointed that one of the main tasks of the government is to stimulate competition and develop both the electricity and natural gas markets.
On December 30, Bulgarian officials received a copy of a letter from Gazprom to Overgas informing that gas supplies will be halted from January 1.
The state-owned Bulgargaz and Overgas reached an agreement on December 31 that the former will supply gas to the consumers of the latter.
According to reports, Gazprom halted gas supplies to Overgas due to unsettled commercial issues, while Overgas claims that it has no overdue debts to the Russian company.
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