Watchdog Puts Off Decision on Power Distributors' Permits

Business » ENERGY | April 7, 2014, Monday // 12:08
Bulgaria: Watchdog Puts Off Decision on Power Distributors' Permits Boyan Boev (R), head of Bulgaria's State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation, known as DKEVR, has said "new evidence" was received proving the debt of power distributors to the National Electricity Company. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian energy watchdog DKEVR has postponed its decision whether to scrap the permits of operating power distributors.

At DKEVR's session on Monday, it was revealed that the state-owned National Electricity Company (NEK) had presented new evidence regarding the alleged BGN 350 M debt of power distributor utilities.

DKEVR therefore decided to adjourn its final say until April 28, the wesbite has reported, quoting the watchdog's chief Boyan Boev, who stopped short of specifying the nature of the new evidence.

NEK claims that Czech-based CEZ and Energo-Pro, as well as Austrian-based EVN, are to pay millions of BGN to the company.

The power distributors, on their behalf, demand some BGN 150 M of compensations for uncollected renewable energy taxes and explain they have kep back part of the sum to balance on their budget.

DKEVR announced in mid-March it would suspend licenses of the power distributors if they do not deliver on their debts by March 28. NEK warned against not receiving the money, declaring this could pose a threat to energy security and supplies to users.

No official decision has been taken so far after the European Commission stepped in by sending a letter to Economy Minister Dragomir Stoynev demanding an explanation of Bulgaria's behaviour toward the companies.

EC Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger even asked Stoynev why the government is trying to meddle into a "trade dispute".

At Monday's session of DKEVR, ambassadors from various EU countries were present, namely Austria, the Czech Republic and Spain's envoys to Sofia.

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Tags: debt, power distributors, Stoynev, Oettinger, Boyan Boev, NEK, DKEVR, Ambassadors
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