ELECTRICITY TO BE HIKED TWO TIMES
Electricity will be hiked by no more than 10% due to the decommissioning of N-plant Kozlodoui's units 3 and 4, said Prof. Konstantin Shoushoulov, Chairman of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (SCEWR) at the annual International Energy Forum, held in Varna during the week. In his words, the two generators' close-down would not lead to an energy crisis, but the country's exports will suffer, decreasing four-fold from almost 8 billion kilowatthours to 2 billion kilowatthours a year.
SCEWR's head recalled as well that despite of the forthcoming price increase of the energy purchased from power stations as of July 1, there would be no hike for the end consumers for the time being. Electricity prices for them will go up only in the beginning of the new heating season, i.e. October 1, Prof. Shoushoulov underlined but refused to specify by how much exactly.
Meanwhile, it became clear that the National Electricity Company (NEC) was launching construction of new subfeeders along the Black Sea coast. According to the company's Executive Director Mardik Papazyan, about EUR30MN will be invested in the programme for speeded building of such stations along the seaside in 2006 and 2007. Thus, electricity supply in the region will be improved where the voltage of electricity is currently 150 instead of the necessary 220 volts. By next spring the existing subfeeder in the Golden Sands is to be reconstructed, and new facilities are to be built in the Sunny Beach resort and in the towns of Obzor and Sozopol, as well as in the Pamporovo mountain resort. Mr. Papazyan specifies that EUR4-5MN is necessary for the construction af a good-quality subfeeder.
After the new facilities are built the NEC will most probably try to attract the biggest Bulgarian Black Sea resort as its clients, experts in the branch predicted, adding that that would sharpen the conflict between the company and the electricity distribution companies. Recently, they accused the national monopolist of stealing away their biggest clients. However, the NEC opposed that the law entitled them to supply electricity to end clients and for the company the attraction of direct business customers was a way to compensate the loses it would suffer from the decommissioning of Kozlodoui's units 3 and 4.
Bulgaria is already holding negotiations with a number of companies and states about the future sale of part of the electricity, to be generated by the Belene N-plant for which a designer and a building contractor are sought, Minister of Economy and Energy Roumen Ovcharov said during the week in Sanct Petersbourg where he attended the tenth International Economic Forum. The event, called the Russian Davos, was opened on Tuesday (June 13). However, Mr. Ovcharov refused to tell the names of the countries with which negotiations were being held about the electricity from the future Bulgarian N-plant.