Bulgaria's Maritsa Iztok Mines Curb Capacity over Low Power Consumption, Exports
Starting Monday, workers at Bulgaria's state-owned Maritsa Iztok Mines will switch to a two-shift regime from a four-shift regime due to the shrinking coal demand of the thermal power plants in the Maritsa Iztok Complex.
The council of trade unions will hold a sitting Monday to discuss measures to solve the crisis, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Television (BNT).
The capacity of the four thermal power plants in the Maritsa Iztok Complex has been reduced to 20%.
Some units of the TPPs of the Complex were switched off by the Electricity System Operator (ESO) in the past two weeks due to the low electricity consumption in the country and the reduced export rates, which in turn reduced coal demand.
Gencho Genchev, Chair of the Podkrepa Labor Union at the company, made clear that the step had made it necessary to send some of the workers on a forced leave while other had to switch to a 2-shift regime of work from a 4-shift regime.
Representatives of trade unions at the Maritsa Iztok Mines have demanded a meeting with Bulgaria's caretaker Economy and Energy Minister Asen Vasilev and the State Commission for Energy Regulation (DKEVR) to draft urgent measures to solve the crisis.
Meanwhile, trade unions at the Maritsa Iztok Mines will also meet Monday to discuss the steps that the miners should take.
Genchev suggested that the meeting was likely to result in a decision to start protests, adding that if the Complex kept functioning at 20% of its capacity, this would "not only be fatal for Bulgaria's energy sector but will also leave thousands of miners and energy workers without a job."
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