At a closed meeting today, the Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (EWRC) will finally decide what will be the price of natural gas at which "Bulgargaz" will sell natural gas in August to final suppliers and to persons who have been issued a license for production and heat energy transfer.
The public supplier proposed that the price of the blue fuel for this month will become BGN 297.89 per megawatt hour, or 60.01% higher than the current price for July (BGN 186.17 per megawatt hour).
Yesterday, the public supplier was supposed to publish its natural gas price proposal for September, but this did not happen. EWRC threatened Bulgargaz with sanctions if the company continued its practice of not fulfilling the legal obligation to publish prices on time. Delayed information on prices puts businesses in an unpredictable environment in terms of their main costs - for fuel, and in some cases for raw materials.
During the open meeting on August 9, at which the public supplier's report was discussed, EWRC chairman Ivan Ivanov asked a number of questions to the executive director of Bulgargaz, BTA recalls. One of them was why the company did not submit its August natural gas price statement on time. Ivanov pointed out that according to the regulations, the requirement is to submit the application to EWRC 20 days before the adoption of the decision. This means that every month on the 10th or 11th, the public supplier must submit its application for the next month's prices. After that, "Bulgargaz" has the right to submit a corrected application, which can be submitted by the 1st of the month for which the decision is taken. The goal is for EWRC to make a timely decision on the price of natural gas for the relevant month.
Ivanov added that the requirement to submit the application 20 days before the date of adoption of the decision is not a formal act, because businesses and methane stations complain that they do not have clarity about the prices at which to carry out transactions. On the other hand, the Energy Act provides that EWRC will impose a sanction on Bulgargaz if they do not submit their applications on time. Therefore, the chairman of the regulator warned that if by August 11 Bulgargaz does not submit its first application for natural gas prices for September, EWRC may impose administrative sanctions on the public supplier.
Previously - on August 3, during the first press briefing after returning to the post of EWRC chairman, Ivan Ivanov said that the regulator will check all the documents accompanying Bulgargaz's application, but the regulator's powers are in two guidelines - to check whether the application is in accordance with the long-term contract (in this case only with Azerbaijan), as well as whether the legal requirements in the field of natural gas are met.
"What I can say is that the extremely difficult situation related to the high prices of natural gas activated the EWRC to seek regulatory changes that would primarily guarantee the public supplier Bulgargaz (on the principle of minimum costs for the supply of natural gas gas) to provide these quantities for the regulated market", declared Ivan Ivanov at the time. He explained that the regulated market contains two segments - the first is the gas distribution companies, the second - the heating companies that have a license to produce heat energy.