In connection with an inspection of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission in Bulgartransgaz EAD, which confirms the main conclusions of the Ministry of Energy for the management of the gas company, Minister Andrey Zhivkov asked the Bulgarian Energy Holding to remove its management, the press center of the Energy Ministry said.
At the end of last week, the regulator announced the results of its inspection in the gas operator, which shows that during the implementation of the Balkan Stream project Bulgartransgaz EAD did not request prior approval from the EWRC for the conclusion of contracts for construction activities and the bank loans with which the payments were made for them. All this is in violation of the Ordinance on licensing of energy activities, according to the Commission for Energy and Water Regulation.
The loan agreements concluded by Bulgartransgaz EAD have increased the indebtedness of the gas operator from BGN 4 million in the beginning of 2019 to over BGN 2.6 billion today. These contracts were supposed to be approved by the EWRC, but Bulgartransgaz EAD did not notify the commission about them at all.
The conclusions of the state regulator confirm the facts presented by the official team of the Ministry of Energy at the beginning of his term. The review of the financial condition of the state-owned energy companies then established that as a result of the large-scale investment program of Bulgartransgaz EAD, the company's liabilities increased dramatically. This would be justified only if it implies an increase in cash flows in the company - a forecast that is not confirmed by the financial analysis of Balkan Stream. Thus, today's inspection of the EWRC confirms that the Balkan Stream project has a negative impact on the overall financial condition of Bulgartransgaz EAD and leads to over-indebtedness of the company. This confirms the conclusions of the Ministry of Energy for inefficient management of the state gas operator.
As 3eNews has already written, from the publication of the minutes of a closed meeting of the EWRC it is clear that the regulator is worried about the financial situation and more specifically about the terms of the loans taken out by Bulgartransgaz for the gas network expansion project or Balkan Stream. ”. We remind you that EWRC has requested a response from Bulgartransgaz and a statement of findings has been prepared on June 25. At this stage, the company's response is unknown, and the energy regulator is yet to rule on this topic.