Bulgaria's Caretaker Govt Asked to Start Dismantling Energy Holding

Business » ENERGY | April 12, 2013, Friday // 16:49

The public council at Bulgaria's Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism has requested a revision of the contracts with the Maritsa East 1 thermal power plant (TPP AES Galabovo), the ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 TPP and the dissolution of the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH).

During a Friday sitting, representatives of the public council reminded that former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov had vowed to close BEH prior to assuming his second term in office.

The participants in the sitting, as cited by investor.bg, admitted that BEH could not be closed during the term in office of the caretaker government but suggested that the procedure could be started.

Representatives of trade unions at the public council commented that there were three thermal power plants functioning on the same territory, all of them using the same technology and the same raw materials, while their price varied between BGN 61 per MW (of the state-owned Maritsa East 2 TPP) to 130 per MW of the two so-called US TPPs, the Maritsa East 1 TPP and the Maritsa East 3 TPP.

Vladimir Topalov from the Podkrepa Labor Confederation suggested that a bankruptcy in the coal mining industry would deal a blow to the backbone of Bulgaria's energy sector, given that 50% of the electricity was generated by coal-fired power plants.

He noted that TPPs could be used as buffers because they were easy to stop, unlike the Kozloduy NPP.

He further emphasized the importance of a careful approach to the reform in the mining industry, stressing that Bulgaria could otherwise swing from an ongoing excess production of electricity to power supply disruptions.

Trade union representatives drew attention to the fact that over 3000 Bulgarian miners had been sent on an unpaid leave against the backdrop of a revival of coal mining in Europe.

Trade unionists insisted that Bulgarian TPPs had to use Bulgarian coal produced by Bulgarian miners, suggesting that Bulgaria was killing domestic output by paying foreign companies.

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Tags: caretaker govenment, Ministry of Economy Energy and Tourism, thermal power plants, Maritsa Iztok 1, Maritsa Iztok 2, Maritsa Iztok 3, Maritsa Iztok mines, Bulgarian Energy Holding
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