Minister Gerogi Todorov: Mobility package is to the detriment of Bulgarian carriers, we continue the fight against it
President Radev before the unions: A way is being sought for TPP Maritsa East 2 to continue to operate after July 1
President Radev before the unions: A way is being sought for TPP Maritsa East 2 to continue to operate after July 1
President Rumen Radev discussed with the unions the problems in the energy sector and the future of the Maritsa East complex. At the meeting it became clear that the caretaker Minister of Energy will propose a solution so that TPP Maritsa East 2 can continue to operate after July 1: "He will propose a short-term solution so that the plant - TPP Maritza 2 will continue to operate. works after July 1. This has another price, however. You know the cost of the social tolerance of this decision and the Ministry of Energy is working hard to find a long-term solution. We cannot run away from the need for this transition and decarbonisation, "Radev said. "I have always welcomed your struggle to defend this interest, but I expected more activity last year, especially before December. Then, at the Council of the EU, the former prime minister adopted a package of 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The EU's ambitions for decarbonisation have increased dramatically - from minus 40 to minus 55%, without clear and adequate measures to support Bulgaria. And we are the most affected country ", added Radev. "I have blocked the decision of the EU Council, but we cannot block indefinitely. We must make every effort, "Radev said. The head of state reminded that energy is also a topic of the Recovery and Sustainability Plan." Various proposals are being reviewed so that a sustainable and irreversible solution is sought in the future. We cannot block this process. "Let's run away from the need for transition and decarbonisation. There are social problems and they must be protected, but the transition cannot be blocked," he said. "We need to look for rational solutions quickly, because people are waiting for clarity. These are thousands of human destinies and they should be in our focus, but let's take an example from other countries how they make a successful effective transformation, "the president called. The CITUB leader Plamen Dimitrov explained during the meeting "In less than a few weeks, TPP Maritsa East 2 is threatened to stop. The picture was similar last year. The intentions we heard from Minister Zhivkov - for one million megawatt hours for the regulatory period - actually mean that TPP 2 will operate on less than one unit, half a unit - 110 or 120 megawatts on average per month, which immediately raises the question of what happens to the whole complex. . We all realize that we cannot demand responsibility from the caretaker government in any way here. This is unfinished business in the past. " "Thank you for this meeting and for your quick and timely response. This process, as unpleasant as it is, is irreversible. The pressure that we see from the EC that it was carried out with ferocity and is accompanied by a huge resource of measures will not stop, "said during the meeting the President of CITUB Plamen Dimitrov. "Until now, there has been no commitment from the state. For 3 years we have been insisting on a 5-year compensation plan. There is no such so far. There is not even r for 6 months. From this point of view, we fully share the concern that the lack of solutions has led us to this extremely critical situation, "he added.Read more
Prof. Yanko Yanev: Urgent solutions are needed for TPP "Maritsa East 2" and NPP "Belene"
Prof. Yanko Yanev, Director of the Institute for Nuclear Knowledge Management in Vienna and Executive Director of the International Academy of Nuclear Energy We entered a cyclical election and it is not clear when and how we will go out. If for democracy, repeat elections are a good exercise in clarifying policies and finding a common denominator among political activists, then an unstable parliament and often changing governments are the worst options for projects related to the country's energy security. It is clear to everyone that energy is the backbone around which the whole economy is built. We are now in the first corrective of the election process, hopefully the last, and produce a stable majority that will govern our country wisely. A few days ago, the caretaker Minister of Energy Andrey Zhivkov admitted that the state energy is "in the red" and this is not news, but a trend that is deepening. There are many issues in it, but two of them are really urgent - the fate of the coal-fired power plants and the Belene NPP project. Apart from not being postponed, these two issues require a solid consensus, which we all hope to see in a new functioning parliament. It may be too late soon… No matter how much some people imagine and are afraid to say it out loud, Bulgaria will have to close the Maritza East TPP at some point and it is not far away. President Rumen Radev speaks of this as a loss of autonomy, but I understand it as a loss of domestic production and import of electricity. If that happens, electricity traders will rub their hands and people…it is unclear how they will pay their bills. I am convinced that within 10 years the state-owned Maritza East will not be operational, and from a strategic point of view, the Belene NPP must be built in order to replace these facilities. Visits and media noise surrounding the construction of Unit 7 at Kozloduy NPP do not work when it comes to guaranteed replacement of 2,000 megawatts by 2030. Yes, the closure of lignite plants is a difficult step on the way to reforming the electricity system not only in our country but also around the world. However, Europe, America, China, Australia and others are moving too fast in this direction and no one will ask us whether we like it or not. Even the most coal-fired country in the EU, Poland, will sooner or later join European energy policy. And although it has no experience in the nuclear industry, Poland is seriously preparing to build up to 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Hungary is building another 2,000 megawatts, the Czech Republic is working on one or two more power units, Romania, Slovenia / Croatia and Slovakia as well. Even the Baltic states are considering the introduction of nuclear power in the near future. It is true that thousands work in the Maritsa East complex and they will lose their current jobs, but these people can be retrained. Europe is allocating billions for this, and implementing a good energy strategy can not only answer the social question of jobs in the Mari basin, but also kick-start the recovery of the environment. There are also opinions about gasification of coal-fired power plants. Obviously, someone wants to profit from the sale of gas, and it will become more expensive. Let's not forget that up to 80% of the price of electricity from gas power plants is determined by the price of gas. This will never pay off. Not a desire, but a strategy So the completion of the Belene NPP is not a goal, but a strategy in which the role of the state is fundamental. Now she says she has little interest in a second nuclear power plant, and someone else, called an investor, on a commercial basis, has to come and build it. How will you make an investor invest 10 billion euros when you demonstrate that you are not interested in the project? We brag that we have a super computer or that we make headlights for luxury cars, but if our energy system fails, the investors, who are still on their toes, will leave, and the supercomputer will run on a diesel generator. Why do I say that the lack of strategic thinking and the hole in the energy sector are not news. As early as 2018, when BULATOM commissioned the Vienna Center for Nuclear Competence (VINCC) to report on the risk of completion of the Belene NPP project, an international team of experts pointed out that the project has a low risk of completion. It was presented to the Energy Committee in the National Assembly and it was stated that the construction risk to the project is low, as there is a competent builder with vast experience, all equipment with a long production period has been produced, a licensed and prepared site is available. . Then, and now, one of the biggest risks we mentioned is the so-called political risk. It has different dimensions - delaying decisions, incompetent decision-making, postponement, freezing, etc. This risk continues to be a major brake on energy. Time goes by, the hole in the sector is getting bigger and we still do not have time to draw a clear direction for the development of nuclear energy. From election to election, we are again in a situation of political ideas and almost zero expert assessment of what is possible and what is not. Moreover, this process is saturated with public speaking, with which some "experts" have lately literally mocked people's ignorance and fears - about seismicity, technology, safety and so on. Now everyone can check the facts with one mouse movement, for example for the technology, about which you can hear a lot. The facts show that WWER technology is used and built most widely in the world. The same goes for the safety systems that are on a generation 3+ evolutionary reactor, and for whatever you can think of related to the Belene NPP. Do we have staff and where is the problem? The problem with the staff is like with the Belene NPP project itself - it is only talked about, not acted upon. Does anyone ask why, for example, the United States again so actively thought of developing nuclear energy? No major reactor has been built in America for 30 years. This is a serious loss of competence in various fields - construction, engineering, design personnel. After realizing that they were far behind large reactors, they decided to focus on another technology - the so-called small and medium modular reactors. Extremely interesting and advanced both as a technology and as an industry. The problem is that it will take at least another 10 years to demonstrate and license the technology and the same amount of time to build and introduce the industrial production base. This is a new nuclear energy platform that has yet to be tested, developed and introduced. However, the name of Bill Gates alone is not enough. A serious state strategy and support is needed now and in the future. This is fully valid for Bulgaria as well. A nuclear energy program consumes and must create a wide range of specialists. The science of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is based on the fission of uranium. And when you have such specialists in our country, whom you are not even interested in having, you lose an invaluable advantage - in front of the world, in front of the Great Powers, in front of the neighbor. A serious state strategy and support for nuclear energy is needed now and in the future. And the lack of such is evident for some time two months ago. Seven heads of state, led by French President Emmanuel Macron, then handed a démarche to the European Commission, urging that the benefits of nuclear energy for decarbonising the European energy system be carefully considered and given due consideration in future reforms. Who knows why, however, Bulgaria was absent from this initiative. And all these countries, except France, are participating in the Three Seas initiative, and this is a new potential platform for cooperation. I am convinced that very soon even current opponents of nuclear energy will realize that in order for the sun and wind to be in the country's energy mix, there must be a certain amount of nuclear energy in order to be truly "green" and reduce carbon. There is simply no other way, and going back to the parable of the blind and the elephant just doesn't make sense.
Atanas Georgiev and Ivaylo Naidenov: We will all pay higher electricity prices
We cannot expect that with the unification of the market and high emission prices the prices of electricity will remain at the current levels, commented in an interview with BNR Assoc. Prof. Atanas Georgiev, Dean of the Faculty of Economics at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski ”. We all pay the price of energy, because when it increases, so do the production costs and, accordingly, the prices of raw materials. From there we have a general picture of increase, added Ivaylo Naidenov, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers (BFIEK). By 2030, we have quite serious goals. If we want to achieve them, this is done through economic measures. We have chosen to achieve them and we have to pay the price, concluded Atanas Georgiev The current increase in electricity prices is another cycle of change and is due to factors that are internal and external. Although the liberalization of the electricity market started in 2004, it has not been completed, explained the dean of the Faculty of Economics at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski ”Atanas Georgiev. He reminded that at the moment the small business consumers are already on the market of low voltage, while "there is still some intermediate model for households, ie liberalization is not over there. Which means that when we have regulated prices, they can exercise some control over the change of pricing factors. "It is always an effort to keep household prices as small as possible. When all other market segments are already on the free market, the tools for this are reduced”, he added. He drew attention to general factors for the rise in prices - on the one hand, our entry into the United Electricity Market and on the other - the rise in carbon prices. "We know that we are already part of the United Market in the “Day-ahead” segment, although not quite - united at the Greek border. We also see that emissions prices have risen a lot this year, and electricity in Bulgaria and neighboring countries is highly dependent on coal-fired power plants. So we can't expect that when emissions rise, when the market is unified, what we do as price regulation can stop growth up or down. Asked if this meant that this "control" was transferred to electricity prices for businesses, he explained that "we need to know what we are comparing". "If we talk about a 3 percent increase in the total cost of living, we must keep in mind that when traders and their customers negotiate on the free market, they only negotiate the energy component. So, yes, the energy component is rising by a large percentage, and when we talk about household prices, we have a large percentage of network services.” "Such increases - 40-50%, we are talking about the energy component, are quite shocking, especially for small businesses that are not yet accustomed to being on the free market," said the executive director of the Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers (BFIEK). ) Ivaylo Naidenov. "As there is currently a grace period, low voltage consumers are a kind of free market, but at the moment, according to my information, most consumers are still on a contract that has been approved by the EWRC. From July 1 this year, however, they will have to sign a contract for the purchase and sale of electricity with one trader - it may be the current one, it may be another. It is important that if they want to change their provider from July 1, they must have made their choice by June 10. If they do not choose a supplier and the contract under which electricity is supplied expires at the moment, they will go to the so-called TED. Their electricity will not be cut off, but they will go to an official supplier who sells electricity at a much higher price than the market price. The purpose of this provider is firstly to encourage consumers to look for a trader, secondly - if for some reason the contract is broken through the fault of one of the parties, the consumer will not be left without power. This is the common part. Another thing I would like to advise consumers is to read their contracts very carefully. To look and compare not only the price, but also the clauses, Naidenov noted. He recalled that consumers must also be proactive and learn to monitor the market. Naidenov pointed out as an internal factor for the increase in the price levels of electricity in Bulgaria the lack of long-term products on the market. "In terms of price levels, as has already been said throughout Europe, electricity prices are rising, but in Bulgaria there is another internal factor that contributes to this uncertainty, to this price uncertainty and this is not only for small consumers, it is also for large consumers - from 2018 almost all wholesale transactions on the electricity market, ie for sale by producers to traders must be concluded through IBEX platforms in different segments. But currently only short-term segments work. "Long-term segments, long-term product has not been offered for a long time," he said. According to Atanas Georgiev, however, one of the tasks for market participation is to monitor what the future levels will be. "If the seller expects prices to rise, he will not want to sell a large quantity now," he explained, noting the excessive involvement of state-owned companies in free market processes. "It's not just that no one wants to take risks. We must not forget that two thirds (of the current free market) are held by state-owned companies. There is still a special way of making decisions. There is always this fear that if any action is taken and it does not lead to a better financial condition of the company, it may even be subject to jurisdiction. The market is concentrated, there is a concentration of one of the participants in it, which largely determines what is offered by a producer in this market, "said Georgiev. According to him, "there are various reasons for not offering quantities in the long run." "Let's remember, however, that one of the reasons for this is that the business itself did not want to have so many long-term quantities. He wanted to have more quantities in the market "Day ahead", because it is the most liquid, the easiest to set prices, etc., "he added. "In my opinion, the solution is for each user to balance their portfolio. Especially if it is a bigger consumer ", Ivaylo Naidenov commented. According to him, this "will give traders a greater opportunity to give greater security to smaller customers, because if they buy a package of energy with a long-term contract, they will be less exposed to short-term changes." Atanas Georgiev, in a comment on cases of traders who warn their customers about changes in the contracts with small customers, reminded that they (the contracts) are for energy supply and not for guaranteeing a low price. "The trader has no interest in terminating the contract. It is also not good for him when the dynamics are high and he cannot cover it through the hedging he has made. "Every trader wants to sell more, to more customers, and accordingly, such contracts, which leave a loophole for termination, are not profitable for the trader," he said. In response to a question about how the current increase in price levels will affect business, Naidenov, for his part, drew attention to the impact on the chain and the danger of inflation. "We all pay the price of energy, because when it increases, so do production costs. Accordingly, raw material prices are rising. From there we have a general picture of promotion. Unfortunately, this is the general picture in Europe since the beginning of the year. And not only in the price of electricity, but also in the price of natural gas, the same trends are observed. More globally, the competitiveness of the European economy is in question. "Signs of inflation and a general rise are beginning to be seen more locally," he said. In response to the question "Is inflation the word?", Georgiev noted that "We can call ourselves that." "Because one of the main factors is the rise in emissions prices. We must keep in mind that every policy, every green deal, or another at global or European level, must be covered by consumers. We should not be surprised that the price of electricity jumps when the price of emissions rises with regulatory intervention and when we know that our electricity is still very dependent on coal.
Minister Zhivkov discussed options for the work of the Maritza East complex with the leadership of the National Trade Union "Protection"
The opportunities for short-term operation of TPP Maritza East 2 EAD, as well as the efforts of the team of the Ministry of Energy to provide a long-term perspective for the region were at the center of talks between Energy Minister Andrey Zhivkov and the management of the National Trade Union. The meeting, which also includes Deputy Minister Miroslav Damyanov, is part of a series of discussions held by the team of the Ministry of Energy with non-governmental organizations, trade unions, branch and professional associations and others in order to achieve maximum public consensus on finding workable solutions for stabilization of the energy sector. The two sides in the conversation reaffirmed the importance of TPP Maritza East 2 for the security of the energy system and its key role in energy supply. According to Minister Zhivkov, the ME's efforts to solve the accumulated problems are aimed at solutions that, on the one hand, ensure the necessary stability of the energy system and, on the other hand, lay the foundations for a new perspective for the development of the entire region. This can be achieved through the European financial instruments - the Fund for Fair Transition, Innovation and Modernization Fund and others. Currently, the team of the Ministry of Energy is actively working to change the Recovery and Sustainability Plan by including new projects in it.
The Minister of Ecology Asen Lichev asked the RIA for the studied options for a route through the Petrohan Pass
The Minister of Ecology Asen Lichev sent a letter to RIA with a request to present the studied options for a route through the Petrohan Pass, the Ministry of Ecology announced. Given the importance of the investment intention and the alleged negative impact on the environment, the Minister of Environment and Water Asen Lichev sent a letter today to the Road Infrastructure Agency (RIA) with a notification that the procedure can be resumed. In the letter, Minister Lichev emphasizes that the EIA procedure can be resumed in case all the options for the route through the Petrohan Pass studied by the investor are presented in the MoEW. The Minister of Environment and Water Asen Lichev stopped the procedure for ecological assessment of the tunnel under the Petrohan pass, it became clear a few days ago. The Ministry of Environment and Water points out that the reason for the decision is that the tunnel and the new road would pass through several protected areas. The tunnel is planned to be part of the European road E-79, which connects Central Europe, through Romania and Bulgaria, with Greece and the port of Thessaloniki. The route is also part of international corridor number 4 and is of particular importance because it passes only through EU member states and bypasses Serbia and northern Macedonia. Apart from the fact that the tunnel will shorten the road Vidin - Sofia, it also reduces the travel time of the trucks to the border with Greece. Precisely because of the strategic importance of the corridor, the second bridge over the Danube River - Vidin / Calafat was built years ago. The tunnel under Petrohan is of great importance for the development of the most backward region in all of Europe - the Bulgarian Northwest. People have been protesting for a decade and wanting the tunnel because it is a hope for business and tourism in the region. It would facilitate access to tourist destinations in the Western Stara Planina and the opportunities around the thermal springs in Varshets, Belograchishki rocks, Magura and Venets caves, as well as dozens of other attractions. Only a month ago, the resigned Minister Petya Avramova announced that RIA is coordinating three options with the Ministry of Ecology. The three options follow the route of the existing road Sofia-Petrohan-Berkovitsa-Monatana-Lom. Exceptions are the bypass of Kostinbrod, which will be new, the bypass of the village of Buchin Prohod and the subsequent crossing of the Petrohan Pass. After the village of Gintsi, options have been developed for tunneling the rest of the pass. This will shorten the distance between the capital and Montana by 46 km. At the moment, there is no clarity about the financing of the project, for which it will be difficult to secure European funds and must be financed from the national budget, through a loan or public-private partnership.
Minister Gerogi Todorov: Mobility package is to the detriment of Bulgarian carriers, we continue the fight against it
The suspension or restriction of road transport has serious consequences for the economy and quality of life in all Member States of the European Union. This was stated in Plovdiv by the Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Georgi Todorov, who participated in the opening of the TRUCK EXPO 2021 exhibition. According to him, all sectors in the EU suffered from restrictions on the movement of goods and people last year months of the pandemic, which is indicative of the important role of road transport in the stability of the Union. "I am confident that the necessary conclusions have been made and more efforts will be made in the future to create and maintain a favorable environment for the transport business. Encouraging investment, as well as building modern infrastructure, are also essential for stability in the industry", said Georgi Todorov. The Minister pointed out that the sector needs legal certainty, which is why the Bulgarian side continues to work actively on the Mobility Package I. “Our position is unequivocal and has not changed. The three legislative acts adopted by the Mobility I Package undoubtedly lead to extremely unfavorable consequences for Bulgarian enterprises and will have a negative impact on the environment. This was clearly confirmed by the European Commission's assessment of the impact of the new regulations on climate, environment and the functioning of the single market, "said the Minister of Transport. Minister Georgi Todorov pointed out that road transport is growing every year, which requires a responsible approach and not to neglect road safety. "Compliance with the requirements for transport of passengers and goods, as well as the rules for driving and rest of drivers, are extremely important and essential for the overall model of road safety," said Georgi Todorov.