ME plans to terminate long-term contracts with US investors for TPP Maritza East 1 and Maritza East 3 by June 30, 2021
In case of unilateral termination of the contracts, Bulgaria and the taxpayers may have to pay severe sanctions
The termination of the long-term contracts with the American companies AES and ContourGlobal, which have invested billions of levs in the most modern thermal power plants in Bulgaria and in the region - Maritsa Iztok 1 and Maritsa Iztok 3, should take place by June 30, 2021. for implementation, containing a schedule for adoption of measures for market reforms in the electricity sector, which the Ministry of Energy sent to the European Commission. It is published on the website of the ministry.
In 2001, the National Electricity Company signed two long-term contracts to purchase electricity from the two plants, the plan said.
EU state aid rules and the envisaged changes in the wholesale market in connection with the abolition of market regulation call for the termination of existing long-term contracts.
The termination of these two agreements is the basis for the liberalization of the wholesale electricity market and is a prerequisite for the admissibility of the introduction of a capacity mechanism, added the Energy Ministry. They added that negotiations were under way to settle the relations under the long-term electricity purchase agreements between NEK and the two plants (MI 1 and MI 3) in accordance with the applicable EU state aid rules.
The Bulgarian side has prepared the necessary methodology and calculations in connection with the establishment of unrecovered costs. The calculations for MI 3 have been submitted to the EC.
Talks are expected to be held, with the assistance of the EC, on the termination of the contracts. The plan states June 30, 2021 as the deadline for implementation.
Termination of contracts with US investors has long been discussed, but this could happen only after equal negotiations with stakeholders and after achieving mutually acceptable conditions for the state-owned NEK, AES and ContourGlobal, taking into account the real return on investment and international banks, who funded the projects, experts recall. So far no such agreement has been reached. And in case of unilateral termination of the contracts, Bulgaria and the taxpayers may have to pay severe sanctions.