Bulgaria Energy Watchdog: NEK Off the Hook

Energy | September 28, 2010, Tuesday // 13:04|  views

Angel Semerdzhiev, the head of Bulgaria's energy watchdog, has announced that NEK willnot pay fines. Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian energy watchdog has announced it will not fine the National Electric Company (NEK) because it has not made any specific violations.

The head of the State Commission on Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), Angel Semerdzhiev, has stated that NEK has threatened the safety of the delivered electric power.

However, he pointed out that the company has not made any specific violations, but has rather implemented a wrong investment strategy.

Checks by DKEVR have showed that from 2006, NEK has directed more than 50% of its investments towards new projects, like Tsankov Kamak hydro power plant and Belene nuclear power plant, instead of expanding and renovating its electric distribution network.

For this period, the energy watchdog has not approved NEK's investments, although it was supposed to. Instead, DKEVR has relied on the good assessment of the company for the investment program it has been leading and has defined the prices for electric power on this basis.

"I cannot say why the colleagues from the previous commission have trusted NEK. However, we have already made suggestions for changes in its investment program," Semerdzhiev said.

He has explained that the audit report made by DKEVR will not be submitted to the Prosecutor's Office because the power utility had not made any specific violation, but only had wrong policies.

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.

The State Commission on Energy and Water Regulation was supposed to make an audit of the power utility following an order from the Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov from the beginning of April.

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Tags: Tsankov Kamak hydro power plant, Belene Nuclear Power Plant, investments, Black Sea coast, power utility, DKEVR, Angel Semerdzhiev, NEK, Belene


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