Long-Awaited EC Approval Unclogs Bulgaria Carbon Quotas Trade

Business | April 22, 2010, Thursday // 15:41|  views

Thermal power plant Maritsa Iztok 2 is the largest Bulgarian polluter with the greatest number of carbon dioxide quotas of all 132 authorized Bulgarian installations. File photo

Authorized Bulgarian companies will be able to trade with their carbon quotas as the European Commission has approved Bulgaria’s delayed carbon dioxide plan.

The plan was originally submitted by the Stanishev government in 2007 but has been rejected twice by the Commission. The current Borisov Cabinet submitted for the third time in January, and has gotten the approval of the EC, Bulgaria’s Deputy Environment Minister Evdokiya Maneva announced on Thursday.

Bulgaria is now entitled to distribute a total of 38.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions for 2008 among 132 authorized companies in the country; 40.3 million metric tons for 2009, and 34.7 million metric tons for 2010.

Pollution reports by Bulgarian industrial plants show that in 2009 their combined output of greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 17% down to 31.7 million metric tons. Thus, almost all of them will have excess quotas for 2009 which they can trade within the EU.

The EU regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to provide for carbon quota trading encompass 11 000 industrial plants.

According to Deputy Minister Maneva, Bulgaria’s formerly largest and currently bankrupt steel-maker Kremikovtzi has not been allotted any carbon quotas as it has failed to submit any report on its expected output.

Vanya Grigorova, head of the Executive Agency of Bulgaria’s Environment Ministry, said that the 132 companies in question will be able to start trading with their carbon quotas as soon as they pay their administrative fee to the National Carbon Quota Trade Register which is kept by the Agency. More information about the Bulgarian Carbon Quota Trade Register is available at the Executive Agency website HERE.

Those companies with under 25 000 annual quotas are due to pay BGN 50, while those whose quotas exceed this number owe a sum equal to their total number of quotas multiplied by 0.004.

Thus, the Bulgarian company with the largest number of carbon quotas, the Maritsa Iztok 2 thermal power plant, which has 9 million quotas, will have to pay about BGN 35 000 per year to the Environment Ministry Agency.

In order to prevent a collapse of the Bulgarian greenhouse gas trading register by having all 132 firms rush to sell their quotas at the same time, the Bulgarian Environment Ministry is mostly likely going to draft a schedule to include each of them in the system gradually, Deputy Minister Maneva said.

An inter-institutional group is going to convene on Friday in order to decide on the best way to schedule the start of the carbon quota trade of Bulgarian companies. Maneva forecast that the largest polluters such as the thermal power plants will most likely be allowed to start trading first because they have the greatest numbers of quotas.

The EU carbon quotas market registered a total turnover of EUR 63 B in 2008. Bulgarian companies can expect to make a profit of BGN 25 per quota if the prices at the beginning of 2010 remain stable throughout the year.

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Tags: EC, carbon dioxide, carbon emissions, carbon quotas trade, Environment Ministry, Evdokiya Maneva, carbon dioxide plan


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