Bulgarian Energy Watchdog: NEK Should Shift InvestmentsEnergy | September 21, 2010, Tuesday // 13:06| views
Bulgaria's state energy watchdog has concluded that the National Electric Company NEK has nto invested enough in the maintenance of the transmission network in the country. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria's dominant state power utility NEK has not invested enough money in the maintenance of the transmission network in the country, a check by the state energy watchdog has showed.
"My conclusion that NEK has not invested enough in the network was confirmed. NEK has focused on investments in generating capacity," said Angel Semerdzhiev, head of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR).
At the beginning of April, Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borisov ordered the energy watchdog to make audits of all energy companies.
In July, the results of the checks of the power utilities EVN, E.ON and CEZ were announced.
The issue with NEK's investments started circulating in the media after a part of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast was left without electricity after a breakdown in electric posts of NEK.
At the end of August, it was announced that the National Electric Company has been working without an approved business plan from DKEVR.
The energy watchdog established last year that the company had shifted its investment program from rehabilitation of the network to construction of new plants like Benele nuclear power plant and the "Tsankov Kamak" hydro power plant.
"Corrections in NEK's investment programs should be done," Semerdzhiev said, adding that the investment expenses of the company will not be increased, but rather redirected.
He explained that only the most urgent safety measures for the system could be undertaken during the current regulation period.
"The respective corrections in the investment program of NEK, which would provide money for repair of the network, will be done after July 1, 2011," Semerdzhiev said.
The head of the state energy watchdog has stated that some measures would eventually be taken regarding NEK's violations. However, in his words, the goal of the watchdog was not to punish the guilty, but rather to prevent problems with the power distribution network in the future.
"The results of the report would be provided to the Prosecutor's Office, in case it needs them," Semerdzhiev said.
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