The government has announced that electricity prices will be raised by 12 per cent as of January 1, 1999. The move paves the way for a crucial three-year loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund which had wanted the price hike to take place this September.
Prime Minister Ivan Kostov has said that $16m will be invested this year in upgrading and improving the safety of four Soviet-designed 440 MW reactors at the Kozloduy nuclear plant. The European Union has been putting pressure on the government to close the reactors, but parliament voted last month, to keep them running.
Siemens, Framatome and Russia`s Atomoenergoeksport have been awarded a contract worth $313m for the modernization of the Kozlodui nuclear power station. The plant accounts for over 40 per cent of Bulgarian electricity production. The consortium will modernize No 5 and No 6 blocks, each 1000 MW, at Kozlodui, focusing on the re-cooling circuits of the reactors.
Belgian chemicals company Solvay is considering the construction of a 600 MW combined cycle power plant in Bulgaria to supply electricity to its operations in the country. Solvay owns a 67 per cent stake in the Sodi-Devnya plant, the region`s largest synthetic soda ash producer.
Bulgaria is suing Atomstroyexport over delayed payments for equipment the Russian nuclear firm agreed to buy under a deal to build the 2 GW Belene nuclear power plant, says Bulgaria’s economy and energy minister.
Russian nuclear power engineering company Atomstroyexport has advised its owner, state power corporation Rosatom, to drop Bulgaria's Belene nuclear power project, French daily La Tribune said, citing a letter that Atomstroyexport sent to its parent.
Bulgaria's energy sector is not yet strong enough to face competition from foreign suppliers and will remain closed at least for the time being to allow domestic players to get used to the liberalization market conditions.