Coal Miners Protest Decision for Early Suspension of Bobov Dol TPP Unit
Five coal mining companies in Bulgaria are directly affected by the decision of the Ministry of Environment and Water to stop one of the units of the Bobov Dol Thermal Power Plant, according to trade unionists.
Workers at the Bobov Dol Coal Mine (Vagledobiv Bobov Dol EOOD) staged a one-hour protest and threatened to take further steps to defend their interests.
Vladimir Topalov, Chair of the miners' federation at the Podkrepa Labor Confederation, told the Bulgarian National Radio that the decision of the Environment Ministry contradicted an arrangement to keep a unit of the Bobov Dol TPP operational by end-2014.
He insisted that keeping the deadline was absolutely possible.
Topalov claimed that the decision of the Environment Ministry was unfounded and it only created pressure.
He said that the Ministry of Economy and Energy had been informed about the problem, adding that an industry meeting had been scheduled for September 9.
The trade union representative underscored that it was not only the Bobov Dol Mine which was affected but all open-pit mines, adding that other coal mining companies, including the Maritsa Iztok Mines, were plagued by problems.
Topalov noted that the debts to coal mines amounted to BGN 200 M by August 29, 2014, warning that the tension could escalate into a strike, unless talks were held to solve the problems.
He said that they expected the order of the Environment Ministry to be revoked next week, thereby extending the operations of the TPP unit by the date which had been set initially.
Topalov also made clear that the miners' federation would meet next week to decide on steps in the case of a refusal to fulfill their requests.
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