Expert: The idea of capturing CO2 in the Maritsa East complex is wonderful, but the technology is not developed
Regional Coordinator for Security of Transmission Operators in Southeast Europe opened in Thessaloniki
BFIEC: Bulgarian industry cannot withstand this price pressure for a long time
BFIEC is very concerned about the rapid and significant rise in electricity and natural gas prices both in Bulgaria and in European markets. Rising energy prices are putting the industry at a disadvantage and making it difficult to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Bulgarian industry cannot withstand this price pressure for a long time! This is stated in their position by the Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers. The document was sent to the media and is about the continuing unfavorable environment for the Bulgarian industry, caused by the high prices on the energy markets. We note with concern that electricity prices in both Europe and Bulgaria are reaching record highs since the existence of the free energy market. It should also be noted that the average price for basic cargo in the day-ahead segment for August is BGN 218.17 / MWh. Compared to the same period last year, the price of electricity in this market segment has increased 3 times, explained by BFIEC. Moreover, natural gas prices have increased almost 5 times in the last year, due to increased demand after COVID-19, as well as the low level of filling of storage facilities on a European scale. This has an impact on electricity prices in Europe, as natural gas is increasingly used as a fuel for electricity generation during the Green Transition. Another important factor influencing the formation of the energy price is the increase in the prices of carbon emissions, which in the last month exceeded 60 EUR / t CO2. Bulgaria has not yet introduced a mechanism to offset the indirect costs of emissions in support of industry, which is widely accepted in many EU member states. Only a month ago on the electricity market at such high price levels a number of structurally determining energy-intensive enterprises temporarily ceased their activity! There is still a lack of long-term market stability. On the contrary - now we are witnessing again at record high prices! For today the achieved average price on the market "day-ahead" amounts to BGN 335.51 / MWh. The situation continues to deteriorate, and the industry needs market-functioning and predictable energy so that it does not collapse! The Bulgarian energy intensive industry is of key importance for the economic growth of the country. The enterprises in BFIEC are structural determinants of the national economy with a high contribution to exports and gross value added. Moreover, these energy-intensive enterprises are at the heart of achieving the transition to a circular and low-carbon economy - initiatives set out in the EU's Green Deal! Given the above, as well as the similar position of the International Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers in terms of price levels in Europe, BFIEC strongly insists on ensuring the stability of energy markets and limiting the negative impact of energy prices on the competitiveness and viability of Bulgarian industry. The measures we insist on are: - Immediate organization of separate tenders for the sale of electricity to the energy-intensive industry through the formation of a wholesale market; - Introduce a mechanism to offset the indirect costs of carbon dioxide emissions. This is permitted assistance from the European Commission, and the eligibility criteria are set out in specific guidelines; - Inclusion of demand-side response of users, meeting the technological requirements, to the distribution of available range for secondary regulation; - Reduction of any other burdens in the final energy value in accordance with the guidelines of the European Commission.Read more
Expert: The idea of capturing CO2 in the Maritsa East complex is wonderful, but the technology is not developed
The optimal scenario for mining and energy is a smooth transition from a coal to a carbon-free economy in the longer term. This was shared by Valentin Kanev, chairman of the Balkan Black Sea Oil and Gas Association to Bloomberg TV Bulgaria. According to the expert, the lignite coal of the Maritsa Basin in particular produces a huge amount of carbon emissions and can no longer be used. That is why the EU is moving towards a transition to a low-carbon economy through the use of gas turbine power plants. The transition itself will take place through gas, and at a later stage through hydrogen. There are 300 projects in the European Union exploring the possibilities and applied practices of how the use of hydrogen affects the energy sector. Some of the plans are already in a completed phase. Hydrogen projects are related to the percentage of hydrogen that can be mixed with natural gas. In the beginning it could be up to 5% hydrogen, but now there is talk of 10%, 15% and even 20% mix with hydrogen. There are projects that are further back in their development, and others are in perspective. In the future, hydrogen production will be on a larger scale and its use will be in the home. Hydrogen will be separated from the gas and will be able to be transported in smaller quantities. But fossil fuels will continue to be used until 2050. The guest shares that all this is applicable from a purely technical point of view. We remind you that the current Minister of Finance Asen Vassilev recently explained that the construction of a steam and gas plant in our country is not an acceptable option, because if the price of electricity is gasified, it will not be set by Bulgaria, but will depend on the international price of natural gas. Valentin Kanev believes that we cannot be energy independent as long as we are connected to the European energy system and markets. "Whether by gas or otherwise - this is inevitable. Energy independence is due to the diversification of supply sources. " Kanev clarified that even when relying on one, albeit local, source, this puts some dependence on the future energy development of the country. According to him, the idea of capturing and using carbon emissions in the chemical industries in the Maritsa Basin is a wonderful opportunity, but the technology has yet to develop. "Bulgaria is not ready to start this process immediately. Appropriate geological structures must be found and such infrastructure built. " Similar projects are being developed in the UK, the Netherlands and the process is smooth, but is already moving into real implementation. “The procedure is complex and difficult to implement and includes capture, transportation by tanker, pipeline and storage in gas-emptied structures. It is no coincidence that oil companies are able to develop such projects. " The guest is adamant that the state and private companies must have the same opinion, concept and vision for the development of a low-carbon economy regarding the future of the Maritsa Basin.
ICGB: There are no violations in the construction of the gas connection with Greece
The project company for the construction of the interconnector with Greece categorically rejects all speculations about violations and relies on the Bulgarian institutions to continue their repeatedly stated support for the successful implementation of this key project for the country and the region. This was stated in their position by ICGB AD in connection with statements regarding the project company during a meeting of the Temporary Audit Commission for the establishment of abuses and violations in the spending of funds by the Council of Ministers, ministries, state bodies, state and municipal enterprises, companies with more than 50 percent state and municipal participation and local authorities in the last 5 years. In connection with false and misleading allegations regarding the project for construction of a gas-Bulgaria interconnection within the framework of a meeting of the Temporary Audit Commission for establishing abuses and violations in the spending of funds by the Council of Ministers, ministries, state bodies, state and municipal enterprises, companies with more than 50 percent state and municipal participation and local authorities in the last 5 years, the project company ICGB AD states the following: The project company implementing the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector does not fall within the scope of the activities of the Temporary Commission, as the Bulgarian participation in it does not exceed 50 percent, as regulated in the rules of the Commission. The mixed investment company ICGB AD, registered in Bulgaria in 2011, has equal shareholders BEH EAD (50%) and IGI Poseidon (50%). The co-shareholder IGI Poseidon is a company registered in Greece, with shareholders the Greek public gas corporation DEPA S.A. (50%) and the Italian energy group Edison SpA (50%). The total amount of the investment is 240 million euros, and this amount has not changed over the years. The financing is provided through the personal participation of the shareholders, EUR 45 million from the European Energy Program for Recovery (EEPR), EUR 39 million from the European Structural and Investment Funds and a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the amount of EUR 110 million. euros. The share of public funds is 35 percent of the total amount. ICGB AD is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of 8 people. The composition of the Board is nominated on an equal footing by the two joint stock companies. Decisions at the shareholder level are taken at the General Meeting only unanimously, as well as all decisions with a material value of over BGN 70,000. The two executive directors - Ms. Teodora Georgieva on the Bulgarian side and Mr. Konstantinos Karayanakos on the Greek side - represent the company only together with a mandate given by the Board of Directors. Given the described management structure of the company, no key decision on the management of the IGB project can be made alone, and decisions related to changes in deadlines are taken only unanimously by the General Assembly. After receiving an invitation to hear the management of the project company, the Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Executive Directors informed the Chairman of the Temporary Parliamentary Committee that the company does not fall within the scope of the Commission, voted by the National Assembly of Bulgaria. The members of the board have been duly notified of the decision taken, and the information has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Energy. The company and its shareholders fully assist the Bulgarian institutions and control bodies in carrying out inspections and requests for information on the implementation of the project. Despite the non-participation in a meeting of the Commission, the project company has already sent detailed information in a letter with outgoing number IX-1 / 03.09.2021 to the Temporary Committee on specific issues related to both funding and deadlines for the IGB project. . Given the detailed information provided, the false and misleading allegations made in public during the Commission meeting are puzzling. The project company categorically rejects the allegations that the company has suffered financial damage from unsolicited penalties. The penalty has a ceiling stipulated in the contract with the construction company, and it is not more than 10% of the value of the contract or a maximum of 14.5 million euros. If a decision is made to extend the contract for reasons beyond the control of the parties - the occurrence of a global pandemic of COVID-19 - it is not possible to activate a penalty clause. As it is known, the penalty is a sanction, which is imposed in case of culpable non-fulfillment of the obligations. The decision to extend the term for objective reasons was taken by the Board of Directors and the General Meeting of the company. The remuneration of the executive directors and the members of the Board of Directors is public, as well as of all members of the management and control bodies of the companies from the BEH system. Calculations of the order of personal remuneration of over BGN 1 million are absurd and aim only to attract the attention of the media. The management of ICGB AD makes all necessary efforts for transparent and effective project management, as its work contributes to the successful passage of a number of regional, national and international inspections by institutions, independent experts and companies. Since the beginning of this year alone, the IGB project has been subjected to more than 8 different inspections, and all conclusions are without violations. The gas interconnector project with Greece is partly financed by European structures and funds, as well as a loan from the European Investment Bank, which requires additional control mechanisms and requires a transparent management model. This ensures that all activities and procedures for the implementation of the project are performed in accordance with all legal requirements. Additional inspections and audits by independent international institutions are a key condition on which the absorption of funds depends. The legality of all actions of the project company and the main contractors is directly related to the progress of the project. Without positive results with constant monitoring, IGB would not be possible at all. The activity of the project company ICGB AD in project management for the construction of an interconnection Greece - Bulgaria is carried out in synchrony with the Bulgarian and European legislation and meets the highest standards. ICGB AD categorically rejects all speculations about violations and relies on the Bulgarian institutions to continue their repeatedly stated support for the successful implementation of this key project for the country and the region. The project company remains ready to provide any necessary additional information to the Ministry of Energy, BEH and the Interim Commission.
From September 20, they are testing the unification of the energy markets of Bulgaria and Romania
The tests for the market integration of the energy markets of Bulgaria and Romania in the Day Ahead segment are expected to start on September 20. This was explained by Angelin Tsachev, Executive Director of the Electricity System Operator during the RE-Source Southeast conference. The event is dedicated to the corporate supply of renewable energy and energy storage opportunities in Southeast Europe, and the media partner is 3eNews. The implementation of the market merger project with Romania, although a bit delayed for a number of reasons and other market mergers, will enable all market participants to be part of a market merger in the energy market All of Europe. It is these associations that provide security and price stability, Tsachev explained. He confirmed that this is a top priority of ESO and the Bulgarian Independent Energy Exchange. According to Tsachev, it is these associations that facilitate trade and will benefit all Bulgarian consumers, as they will have access to cheap and environmentally friendly electricity, which we all strive for. According to the Romanian Deputy Chairman of ANRE, Zoltan Nagy-Bege, the market merger of the Day Ahead segment with Bulgaria could take place by the end of October. A problem with the supply of electricity from Western Europe is the "narrowing" of the Austro-Hungarian border, as well as the Slovak-Hungarian border. "There are restrictions on access to electricity from Western Europe," Tsachev explained. ESO has already asked the European Commission when the problem will be resolved in order to fully free up the flow of energy flows from Hungary to Greece. "We have raised the issue with the EC and we expect a common unanimous opinion from all organizations in order to accelerate the process of increasing the capacity of these two borders. This will enable the energy produced in different latitudes to reach the whole of Europe ", explained the director of ESO. In practice, this border divides Europe in terms of price, he said. "Our transmission capacity to Romania is currently 1000 MW. It can be for 1700 MW, but colleagues have not yet fully completed their connectivity with other markets. The capacity of this connection will increase in the future, Tsachev explained. He reminded that the energy connection to Greece has a capacity of 700 MW. And with the completion of the second power line, which is currently under construction, the capacity between the two markets will increase to 1,500 MW. 450 mW. new projects in just 11 months Regarding the production of green energy in our country, only for the last 11 months ESO has received applications for connection of over 450 MW of RES projects at medium voltage level. The total number of applications for connection received is 8500 MW. "There is a huge interest in building and connecting new facilities, all this is only on a market basis. Therefore, I believe that it is not necessary for these projects to be supported with funds from the Recovery Plan, Tsachev explained during the conference. He gave the example of the region of Lyubimets and Svilengrad, where more than 600 MW of solar energy production facilities have already been announced for connection. The problem of the region is that there is no electricity transmission network. There is one main power line, which is for Ivaylovgrad HPP. That is why it is now necessary to start investing in the construction of the electricity transmission network in this region. He was adamant that the development of renewable energy in our country inevitably goes through the development of the network. "In order to be able to join these potential plants, a complete restructuring of the network is needed. Now the system operates with concentrated capacity, and in the next 4 to 6 years the power system will be mainly with decentralized production. "This is a huge challenge for the network," Tsachev said. There is also room in this energy market for energy storage systems. But batteries cannot completely replace the current generating base capacities. The reason is that they cannot provide the secondary manual regulation of the power system. If these storage systems are created in the renewable energy parks, then they can supply energy in the moments of peak demand, Tsachev believes. According to him, in the future the balancing energy market will be especially important, given the high energy prices. This market is also becoming important given the recent changes in the EU, in terms of merging balancing markets with other markets and ESO's participation in balancing platforms. This reduces the burden on the participants in the Electricity Market. ESO has also started giving preliminary opinions to investors in order to facilitate the procedures for creating a detailed zoning plan. "We have distributed a serious amount of opinions so that investors can continue the accession procedures," Tsachev explained, adding that the process of approving and joining new RES projects itself is not easy and time consuming.
Sofia is making the most progress against air pollution
As it became clear, on Friday, Sofia took second place in the "Green Capital of Europe" competition for 2023, with only Tallinn ahead of the top position. However, the local government will continue with the activities in this direction, it is clear from the words of the deputy mayor Desislava Bileva. She told BNR that Sofia Municipality continues to work on projects for a cleaner and greener city. "Sofia has improved its environmental performance, the air, because it is making the most progress. Waste is an extremely important thing, so is adaptation to climate change, and another thing that is very important is rivers and water. We have strategies, actions, an action plan and we will continue, "she added. According to Bileva, the data also show that transport is no longer such a big source of pollution thanks to the subway. At the same time, cars have been almost completely replaced by urban land transport, which is environmentally friendly, meets the Euro 6 environmental standard or has zero emissions at all. "We are constantly working for this - for cleaner air. You know that projects for the replacement of heating devices are underway. We already have over 5,500 applications submitted, and over 4,800 contracts have been signed with households. 140 old heating devices, working on wood and coal, have already been replaced.
A two-week total control of the National Revenue Agency revealed 15 percent more sales of motor fuels
After two weeks of total control of the NRA over the trade in motor fuels, officially registered sales have increased by 15% compared to the same period earlier. This is shown by the initial data of the Revenue Agency after the actions taken. Within the last two weeks, employees of the fiscal control unit of the National Revenue Agency have started monitoring the movement of each liter of fuel from the exits of the tax warehouses during their transportation to the gas stations until the final sale. Surveys were carried out at 26 tax warehouses, more than 4,500 vehicles were inspected, carrying fuel for refueling the entire network of gas stations in the country. The tax authorities assessed the level of risk of each recipient of fuel leaving the tax warehouse with specialized software. The trucks of the designated risk traders were sealed and their movement was monitored until unloading at the final point of sale. So far, more than 500 tanks have been sealed and unloading at more than 1,300 service stations has been observed. As a result, an increase of nearly 15% in the amount of fuel sold was reported compared to the same previous period, according to initial data. The control campaign of the National Revenue Agency in the fuel sector will continue in the coming weeks, and will be aimed at gas stations. "Fiscal risks with fuels are significant. What we are doing is preventing speculation and unfair competition at the expense of tax evasion. We have an understanding from the branch organization and I believe that the campaign of the National Revenue Agency will be beneficial not only for the budget and for the whole society ", commented on the inspections the executive director of the National Revenue Agency Rumen Spetsov.