Enel CEO: At Least 2 Bidders for Bulgaria Coal-Fired Plant
At least two bidders have declared interest in the majority stake of Italian energy giant Enel in Maritsa East 3, a Bulgarian coal-fired plant, the company's chief executive announced.
Enel SpA has "at least two" bidders for the Bulgarian coal power plant, known as Maritsa 3, Chief Executive Fulvio Conti said at a press conference in Mexico, as cited by Wall Street Journal.
He declined to disclose any details, saying negotiations are ongoing.
Russia's Inter RAO has been tipped as the most likely buyer of a majority stake in Bulgaria's Maritsa East 3 coal-fired power plant, controlled by Italy's Enel SpA, according to Italian media reports from the beginning of October.
Inter RAO may be the leading candidate among five bidders interested in Maritsa, Italian daily Il Messaggero reported, without citing sources.
According to the report Enel, advised by Deutsche Bank AG, aims to pocked EUR 600 M from the sale and talks are at advanced stage.
In late July, Austria's utility EVN, which already owns EVN Bulgaria, an electricity distribution company in south and southeast Bulgaria, confirmed it is holding talks for the acquisition of a majority stake in the Maritsa East 3 coal-fired power plant.
British utility International Power, US power producer AES Corp. and CEZ AS are also said to have shown interest in acquiring Enel majority stake in Maritsa East 3.
A year ago Enel increased the capacity of Maritsa East 3 plant to 908 megawatts, up from 840 MW, and also put new desulphurisation installations on the plant's four units.
Experts comment that the potential buyer is probably eying a 100% stake in the plant, in which the state owns a 27% stake. The rumors were fanned by a statement of Energy and Economy Minister Traicho Traikov, who recently announced that the state can land EUR 200 M from the sale of its stake in the plant.
The plant is located in the Maritsa East lignite coal mining complex in southern Bulgaria, which generates 30% of the country's electricity. Enel also owns seven wind parks of 3 megawatts near the Black Sea coast.
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