EU Accepts Bulgaria's Commitment to Liberalize Wholesale Power Market
The European Commission has decided to render legally binding the commitments offered by the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) to end competition restrictions on the country’s wholesale electricity market.
The Commission had concerns that BEH may have abused its dominant position on the market for the wholesale supply of electricity at freely negotiated prices, in breach of EU antitrust rules. In particular, the Commission investigated clauses in electricity supply contracts concluded between BEH's production units and third parties, such as traders, that impose restrictions on where these third parties could resell the electricity bought from BEH.
To address the Commission's concerns, BEH has committed to offer certain volumes of electricity on an independently-operated day-ahead power exchange in Bulgaria. The state-owned company will set up the power exchange with the assistance of an independent third party with expertise in the area, and transfer control of the ownership of the exchange to the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance.
These measures will ensure the independence of the power exchange, the Commission said in a news release on Thursday.
EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, commented: "Territorial restrictions that divide energy markets along national lines prevent us from achieving a true European Energy Union. Today's decision will end these restrictions in Bulgaria and make the Bulgarian wholesale electricity market more open and transparent.”
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