Requests for Increasing Electricity, Heating Prices Are Unfounded – Bulgaria’s Deputy PMEnergy | May 4, 2015, Monday // 11:41| views
Tomislav Donchev, Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU Funds and Economic Policy, photo by BGNES
There is no reason for an increase in electricity prices or heating rates, according to Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev.
In a Monday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio he explained that his prediction was based on the condition of the system and the price of energy carriers.
Donchev underscored that electricity prices were a sensitive issue to all and was not o be used for scaremongering.
He said that the Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR), which was an independent entity, would determine whether the demands of energy companies for price hikes were reasonable.
Donchev pointed out that the National Electric Company (NEK) had run up a deficit of BGN 3.5 B, a large portion of which had been generated by keeping prices artificially low, and suggested that it could be narrowed down by cutting costs instead of increasing power rates.
At the end of last week, KEVR published requests of energy companies for increases in prices of electricity, heating, and hot water in the new regulatory period, according to reports of investor.bg.
KEVR Chair Ivan Ivanov, however, suggested that electricity prices would not increase from July 1.
Donchev argued Monday that the reason behind the requested price hikes was the condition of the grid and the need for investments.
He went on to comment on the changes to the planned gas pipeline routes, stressing that Bulgaria had to fight to have as many gas pipelines as possible cross its territory.
Donchev claimed that the worst-case scenario involved Bulgaria losing the role of a transit country.
He said that he was not concerned about the security of gas deliveries due to the ongoing implementation of the Bulgaria-Greece gas grid interconnector project.
Donchev explained that the Bulgaria-Greece gas pipeline was a top priority, adding that Bulgarian authorities were working actively to complete it.
As regards the plans to transfer of Bulgaria’s Public Procurement Agency from the Economy Ministry to the Finance Ministry, he said that the measure was to result in a centralization of oversight of the procedures.
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