Банкеръ Weekly

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MARITSA-IZTOK 3 FIRST REPAIRED UNIT TO BE RECOMMISSIONED EARLY NEXT YEAR

Unit 2 of the Maritsa-Iztok 3 thermoelectric power plant should start operations at the beginning of next year, Enrico Viale, Executive Director of Maritsa-Iztok 3 Energy Company, said. The rehabilitation of the first of two cooling turbine towers has already been finished. The installation of sulphur cleaning equipment has made progress, too.The plant modernisation agreement entered into force on April 7, 2003. Generator 2 was the first to be decommissioned. Its repair began on November 14, 2003. All the four 210-megawatt units of Maritsa-Iztok 3 will be rehabilitated and modernized, Mr. Viale said. The repair will continue for about three years. They will extend the life of the 22-year-old plant by 15 more years and will make it much more efficient. The project is implemented by Maritsa-Iztok 3 Energy Company AD, a joint venture between the National Electricity Company (NEC) and the Entergy Power Holding Maritsa BV, registered in the Netherlands. The Bulgarian energy company holds a 27% stake in the joint venture. In return, it has contributed the plant itself to its capital. The foreign investor owns the remaining 73% of the stocks. Shareholders in the Dutch company are the Italian energy giant Enel Produzione (holding a 60% stake) and the US Entergy (40%).The project is worth EUR580MN, of which EUR300MN is earmarked for investment in rehabilitation. According to Enrico Viale, Maritsa-Iztok 3 Energy Company has invested about EUR200MN in renovation of the plant so far which accounts for 63% of the budget. The money has been used for delivery of raw materials and equipment to the four units, for modernisation of the cooling system and for building sulphur cleaning installations. A consortium of the German DSD and RWE companies is the main executor of the repair works.At the beginning of last week an MP from the Coalition for Bulgaria group said that the money projected for rehabilitation and modernisation of Maritsa-Iztok 3 thermoelectric power plant had been already spent while not even the first repaired generator was put into operation.

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