Bulgaria’s Energy Minister: I changed the Management of Kozloduy NPP because of Potential Connections with Russia

Business » ENERGY | March 6, 2023, Monday // 09:40
Bulgaria: Bulgaria’s Energy Minister: I changed the Management of Kozloduy NPP because of Potential Connections with Russia Rosen Hristov @bTV

"I replaced the head of management in my first months as minister because of intelligence reports about the leadership's potential ties to Russia and corruption schemes." This was announced by the Acting Minister of Energy on bTV.

"They mentioned the name of Alexander Nikolov, whom I replaced. He is now on the 'Magnitsky' list."

Two former directors of Kozloduy NPP were sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act.

"Officially, there are no companies that worked with the Kozloduy NPP that are owned by these persons. The companies that now work with the plant have built competencies and have licenses. The new companies are for peripheral services. For the annual scheduled maintenance - there are several companies in Bulgaria," said Hristov.

He pointed out that Ahmed Dogan's "Varna" thermal power station is not working due to obligations.

"We are close to an agreement that will ensure full payment and all interest. They agree to pay over BGN 40 million together with interest."

Hristov pointed out that "there is interest from Ukraine for the equipment from the Belene NPP, but there are no specifics".

"We are far from giving the equipment. For Belene, a decision must be made on the basis of all the figures and analyses. At the moment, there is no such readiness. There is no proposal from Ukraine. Their Minister of Energy explained that they have a project for a plant and they asked us have we considered a sale," he explained.

Hristov pointed out that in April Bulgaria expects to receive "a report on our claims and on the defense of Russia's claims".

"We hired one of the best international law firms, which has a good list of won arbitration cases. If we have a good chance and it is in the interest of the country, we will file an arbitration case."

Hristov insists that "we fulfill all commitments for decarbonization without closing the plants in 2025".

"We cannot fulfill a commitment from the Recovery Plan, which we intend to renegotiate. I believe that the European institutions work in the interest of Europe. The interests of Bulgaria, as part of Europe, must coincide with these interests. We are not a guinea pig. Europe cannot force us to do something that will hurt energy and national security. We have strong arguments".

According to him, no other country has made a commitment to close 40% of regional capacities. The caretaker cabinet will also offer alternatives.

"No state support is foreseen for TPP 'Maritsa Iztok 2'. Efforts should be made there to optimize processes and be one of the market players. We are not in the past with coal, because for a long time we did not have a strategy and nothing was done to develop capacities from renewable sources. That is why we are developing the vision for electricity so that we are not dependent on coal."

Rosen Hristov expressed hope that there will be a regular government in the summer.

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Tags: Kozloduy, Hristov, Russian, energy

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