The Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX) announced Wednesday that the Intraday Market is temporarily unavailable until the Day-ahead Market's prices are confirmed or another decision is made. The unprecedented action follows an unprecedented spike in the price of electricity asked for delivery on October 11.
Later in the day, the Exchange explained the spike by a technical error in a bid by one of the market participants. IBEX said it would re-run the Day-ahead market auction for October 11 and promised to cancel it altogether if the re-run was unsuccessful.
Wednesday's base-load price was close to 596 leva/MWh while in the past six days it was between 66 and 102 leva/MWh.
"Capital Daily" recalls that for weeks now electricity traders and large corporate consumers have been warning that the electricity market is manipulated. The energy regulator has opened a probe.
Energy expert Atanas Tassev told BTA that such spikes are not unusual and there is no reason for concern. "This is a very small share of the total energy market and there is no way to avoid such situations," he commented.
He believes that the market situation reflects "some minor issues", including repair of generation facilities which are common during the summer and autumn. Also, the Kozloduy N-plant has reduced the quantities offered on the free market and this is causing anxiety because only the N-plant, the Maritsa East 2 and water power plants produce cheap electricity, and all other electricity output is expensive, he explained.
Tassev also said that the free energy market in Bulgaria "is essentially torpedoed by the huge asymmetry" caused by the energy producers which get preferential - higher - prices for their output.
The energy regulator can do nothing about this process, he argued.
Solar plants will continue to enjoy preferential rates for their electricity until 2032.