Bulgaria State Energy Cos to Save BGN 20 M This Year - Minister

Energy | August 3, 2015, Monday // 10:46|  views

Bulgaria's Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova has said that state-owned companies in the sector will be able to save some BGN 20 M in 2015.

In an interview with the Bulgarian National Television she has reminded of the government's commitment to cut expenditures there by 10% every year until 2017.

Spending will be slashed only in "secondary" activity which is not essential to the functioning of companies, such as "lawn mowing".

This comes as Bulgaria is looking into ways to reduce the BGN 3.7 B deficit piled up by the state-owned utility National Electricity Company (NEK).

Petkova fended off claims that tensions had grown between Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and businesses over an increase in electricity prices for industrial consumers, reminding that the government had discussed with employers a host of measures aimed at solving the numerous problems of Bulgaria's energy sector.

She also reminded that the cabinet had taken steps to reduce the burden on industries which buy energy from renewable sources at preferential (high) prices. In her words, the measures was only pending approval from the European Commission to enter into force.

Tensions mounted between the national energy regulator KEVR and businesses last week. Employers staged on Wednesday a protest over the hike, and on Sunday demanded the resignation of the watchdog's head after a joint session, warning they would refer to the Prosecutor's Office over the increase.

Borisov, however, accused businesses of double standards, saying they hadn't vented any anger when previous governments embarked on large-scale projects that accumulated the deficit over the past decade.

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Tags: Temenuzhka Petkova, power prices, businesses, employers' associations, NEK, Boyko Borisov, Borisov


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