Bulgaria's Energy Min Dismisses Non-Transparency Claims
Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova on Sunday fended off claims of backroom deals related to the bridge loan for the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and the visit of a ministry delegation to Japan.
Petkova cited remarks by the EU's Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Ca?ete, who during a recent visit praised the government's efforts in energy.
"No commitments were taken to bind BEH to any projects whatsoever," the ministry's press office quotes Petkova as saying.
Earlier last week left-wing ABV party, which had a minister in the government but quit the cabinet in May, called into question the visit, along with the bridge loan which BEH signed with three banks in order to secure the repayment of debt to local power units of US-based AES Corporation and Contour Global.
On Japan, Petkova said the visit was in line with a 2012 memorandum for cooperation under which any meetings held between officials of the two countries do not have legally binding effects.
Commenting on suggestions that the banks contracted by BEH for the bridge loan had been selected through an opaque procedure, she explained that the Public Procurement Act did not apply to the state-owned holding.
She added new nuclear capacities might be build only if a strategic investor is found that requires neither state guarantees nor preferential sales of the energy.
Her remark was an apparent reference to Bulgaria's decision of last spring not to approve a draft agrement with Westinghouse Electric Company on the construction of a new unit at Kozloduy nuclear plant.
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