Italy's Enel to Sell Bulgarian Power Plant in Fall 2010

Energy | September 5, 2010, Sunday // 12:59|  views

Talks about the sale of Maritsa East 3, a Bulgarian coal-fired plant with a capacity of 908 megawatts, emerged for the first time at the beginning of March. Photo by

CEO of Enel SpA, Fulvio Conti, has said the Italian company will sell its stake in Bulgaria's Maritsa East 3 power plant in the fall of 2010.

Conti has made it clear, as cited by Bloomberg, that Enel plans to sell gas distribution assets in Spain by September, and its Bulgarian coal-fired power plant shortly after that.

Bloomberg reminds that Enel is selling assets to help reduce debt by EUR 45 B in 2010. The Rome-based company said in May it planned to sell EUR 7 B of assets including a stake in its Green Power unit by the end of October. Conti said on August 23 he plans to make "at least" EUR 3 B euros from the disposal of Green Power.

However, he has declined to give a value for the sales in Spain and Bulgaria.

In late July, Austria's utility EVN, which already owns EVN Bulgaria, an electricity distribution company in south and southeast Bulgaria, has confirmed it is holding talks for the acquisition of a majority stake in the Maritsa East 3 coal-fired power plant.

The Executive Director of Italy energy giant Enel, Fulvio Conti, announced in March that the company is considering the sale of its 73% stake in Maritsa East 3.

"Enel is currently holding talks with many companies and EVN is just one of them," a spokesman for the Austrian company said in July.

British utility International Power, US power producer AES Corp. and Russia's state power trader Inter RAO are also said to have shown interest in acquiring Enel majority stake in Maritsa East 3.

A year ago Enel increased the capacity of Maritsa East Three plant to 908 MW, up from 840 MW, and also put new desulphurization installations on the plant's four units.

Experts comment that the potential buyer is probably eying a 100% stake in the plant, in which the state owns a 27% stake. The rumors were fanned by a statement of Energy and Economy Minister Traicho Traikov, who recently announced that the state can land EUR 200 M from the sale of its stake in the plant.

The plant is located in the Maritsa East lignite coal mining complex in southern Bulgaria.

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Tags: Enel, EVN, Maritsa East 3, Maritza Iztok 3, power plant, thermal power plant


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