Economy Minister Traykov: Bulgaria to Have New Energy Strategy

Business | August 3, 2009, Monday // 13:01|  views

Bulgaria's new Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism, Traicho Traikov presented Monday his deputies. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria is in an urgent need of a new energy strategy, which will be prepared by October 2009, and will be tabled to the Parliament.

This was announced Monday by Bulgaria's new Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism, Traicho Traikov.

Traykov made public the names of his deputies: the Deputy Minister in charge of energy will be Maya Hristova, the Deputy Minister in charge of economy matters - Evgeni Angelov, and the Deputy Minister in charge of tourism - Ivo Marinov.

The new Economy Minister also said that the construction of Bulgaria's second nuclear power plant at Belene might end up costing up to EUR 10 B, which might make it economically unsound.

Traykov made it clear that the decision about the Belene NPP would be made after a very thorough and detailed analysis of its situation and potential markets. Next week Prime Minister Borisov and he are going to meet with representatives of the German energy company RWE, which holds 49% of the future plant, in order to hear their position. According to Minister Traykov, the EUR 400 M that had been spent by previous government on the Belene construction so far was a pretty significant sum that has produced no results.

Traykov announced that he had been informed by the European Commission that Bulgaria had had great issues absorbing the EU funds under Operational Program "Competitiveness". Of the EUR 1 B envisaged for Bulgaria for the period 2007-2013, only 3% have been absorbed so far.

The Minister said the previous governments had missed the right time to privatize the Bulgarian tobacco monopoly Bulgartabac but that the new cabinet could speed up the process, and even sell the company by the end of the year through a public tender, and under the condition that the new owner would buy out the existing tobacco yield.

Traykov explained that in the remaining months of 2009 his Ministry was going to try to save up to BGN 8 M from its administrative expenses. As part of these measures, the staff of the Minister's political cabinet will reduced from 24 to 11 employees.


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Tags: Economy Minister, Ministry of Economy, Deputy Minister, Ivo Marinov, Maya Hristova, Evgeni Angelov, Belene NPP, Bulgartabac, EU funds, operational programs


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