Банкеръ Weekly

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REPAIRS STOP THE SALE OF MARITSA IZTOK 3

The State should retain its ownership on the assets of Maritsa Iztok 2 thermoelectric power plant at least in the next five years, the Cabinet-approved amendment to the Privatisation Act stipulates. The ministers decided that the power station should be listed among the companies that are not liable to divestment. The postponement of the sale is necessary because the financing of a large-scale rehabilitation programme for the first six units of Maritsa Iztok 2 should be utilized. Most of the power station's units are over 35 years old. And if Bulgaria wants to avoid ecological troubles, the amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere from the plant should be reduced. According to calculations, the rehabilitation will sost two to four-fold less than the construction of new capacities. The repair of the first four units will cost a total of EUR280MN. The bulk of that money - EUR226.2MN - will be released as a credit from the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation. BGN66.6MN will be spent for the reconstruction of units 5 and 6 of Maritza Iztok 2. The Energy Ministry has drafted a project, to be included in the national plan under the EU's ISPA programme. EUR30MN is expected from that progrrame. The same amount of money will be allocated by an international financial institution. Maritsa Iztok 2 projects to invest own finances of EUR6.6MN in the rehabilitation of the two units. One of the requirements set by the EC to Bulgaria for allocating the funds under ISPA is to retain the state's ownership on the power station.

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