Energy Sector Has Been in Critical Condition for 10-12 Years - Minister

Business | December 15, 2014, Monday // 10:34|  views

Bulgaria’s Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova, photo by BGNES

Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova has suggested that the energy sector has been in critical condition for the past 10-12 years.

In a Monday interview for the morning broadcast of bTV, she claimed that the problems in the sector had accumulated over a long period of time and the predicament was due to a host of factors.

“One of the factors is related to past decisions of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) which are economically unfeasible. Other factors include the projects implemented by Bulgaria, and the National Electric Company (NEK) in particular, such as the Belene Nuclear Power Plant and the Tsankov Kamak Hydroelectric Power Plant," she stated.

Bulgaria's Energy Minister pointed out that state-owned NEK was facing an expected loss of around BGN 600 M, while the company’s loss from the regulated market was expected to amount to some BGN 850 M.

Petkova, as cited by Sega daily, informed that NEK was buying electricity at the price of BGN 190/MWh and was selling it at the price of BGN 125/MWh, adding that there was no company in the world which could sustain such a price difference.

She insisted that electricity prices had been used as an instrument to suppress a range of social problems for years on end, stressing that the practice had to be eliminated as there were a number of other measures and programs that could be adopted to solve the problem.

Petkova rejected allegations that the country was on the brink of a gas supply crisis over the inability of Bulgargaz to pay for deliveries.

She argued that state-owned gas supplier Bulgargaz was paying bills on time so far and that it was normal for gas to be taken out of the Chiren underground gas storage in the period November-April and to inject gas into the depot throughout the rest of the year.

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Tags: Temenuzhka Petkova, Energy minister, National Electric Company, NEK, electricity prices, State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation, DKEVR


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