Former Bulgarian Energy Minister Snubs Contracts with American TPPs as Disadvantageous

Energy | March 19, 2013, Tuesday // 13:06|  views

Traycho Traykov, former Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, photo by BGNES

Traycho Traykov, former Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, has commented that the long-term contracts for purchasing electricity from the American Maritsa Iztok 1 (AES Galabovo) and Maritsa Iztok 3 thermal power plants are unprofitable.

In a Tuesday interview for Nova TV, Traykov noted that the state coffers would have suffered less damage if the contracts with the TPPs had been terminated prior to their launch.

He noted, however, that since the TPPs were already functioning, it would not be an easy job to cancel the disadvantageous contracts.

Traykov's interview came in response to accusations leveled by former Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev that his predecessor, Traykov, had not informed him about the registered pledge stipulated in the long-term contracts with the Maritsa 1 TPP and the Maritsa 3 TPP.

Dobrev argued that the registered pledge had practically forced Bulgarian electricity consumers to guarantee the loan of the US companies used to build the TPPs.

Dobrev also claimed that Traykov was to blame for approving a major portion of the contracts for purchasing expensive energy from renewable capacities.

"You cannot have held senior posts at the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) and the National Electric Company (NEK) and claim that you are unaware of what is going on in the energy sector," Traykov stated Tuesday.

He argued that if Bulgaria would be facing a much more serious problem with electricity prices if it had failed to cancel the Belene NPP project because the price of electricity from the Belene N-plant would have been 50-100% higher than that of American TPPs.

Traykov further boasted that electricity prices had only added 3% during his three years in office as Economy and Energy Minister, while the tariffs had gone up by 17% in the three years before he had assumed office and by 14% in the months following his dismissal.

Traykov suggested that Bulgaria's caretaker Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Asen Vasilev, had the capacity to handle the job but warned that he was not to be burdened with great expectations as there was not much one could do in two or three months in office.

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Tags: Traycho Traykov, thermal power plants, Maritsa Iztok 1, Maritsa Iztok 3, Delyan Dobrev, asen vasilev, caretaker government, National Electric Company, NEK


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