Minister Hristov: The previous management of "Bulgargaz" bought natural gas in violation of the law
"Gazprom" has not yet responded to the Bulgarian proposals for supplies of blue fuel. The very fact that we opened negotiations with them forced other suppliers to compete. We didn't have gas for the next month. We found a lack of gas and brutally high prices that the economy refused to pay." This was stated by Energy Minister Rosen Hristov to bTV.
According to the minister, the drop in blue fuel prices is not only linked to stock market prices. "Our price is currently lower than the stock exchange price in August. The price we have announced is BGN 130 per megawatt hour. We buy at almost half the market price. The deals in August were concluded with "MET" companies and intermediaries".
Rosen Hristov is adamant that damage was done under the regular government due to direct negotiation. He added that all documentation has been handed over to the prosecutor's office.
"The discount from the company for the Shinier liquefied gas tankers based on the competitive procedure is twice as large as that during direct negotiations. The damage is hundreds of millions. We have documents that prove direct bargaining, non-competitive procedures. The law requires that all supplies that are for a period of less than 12 months be made through a licensed exchange. 99% of the quantities before us were bought in violation of the law," the acting minister is categorical.
At the moment, the ball is in the court of the services, as inspections by the prosecutor's office, DANS, GDBOP, etc. are underway. "All the documentation has been handed over to the competent services, along with our comments that, apparently, the economic interest of Bulgaria was not pursued, but other goals were pursued. Here we are either talking about some absolute incompetence, or we are talking about some other interests," Hristov believes. He also showed a comparative table with prices, proving the expensive gas that was bought in our country.
Nuclear fuel diversification
"We overturned the decision that said we should not be dependent on Russian fuel for the Kozloduy NPP because it interfered with one of the possible new suppliers, Framatom." It is a French company that bought a Russian license, but all production is in Europe. The decision restricted competition. Two companies have expressed interest in participating in the auction - "Framatom" and "Westinghouse", the minister emphasized.
According to him, the French company is not dependent on Russia because it already owns all the technologies.
The official cabinet is preparing to cancel the introduced ban on the export of fuels from the Burgas refinery.
"What happens if we ban the export of fuels from Lukoil?" Everything remains in Bulgaria - we cannot consume it. Everything is filled in storage. They will have nowhere to put it and stop producing. We have restricted unregulated output. This was discussed with Deputy Prime Minister Hristo Alexiev. "Lukoil" produces fuels that are not used in Bulgaria and the EU. They are sold in third countries. If they don't move out, it will stay here. If the storages fill up, they will reduce production. It is extremely important for the Bulgarian consumer that Lukoil works, because that way the prices will be reduced."
According to him, at the moment the company's profit does not stay in Bulgaria.
"We now enjoy the lowest prices in Europe. If their production is reduced, prices jump, people are laid off, or eventually shut down. We have a responsibility to our neighbors. We cannot exclude ourselves from the common market".
The minister added that the exception to the use of Russian oil does not affect the sale of fuels.
"We have obligations to maintain energy security in the region," emphasized Rosen Hristov.
"Electricity prices depend on the stock markets in the EU. We are a single market. We withdrew the two electricity tariffs because there is great political tension and the issue is being politicized. There was no desire to discuss things professionally."
"At the moment, the EU is discussing a gas ceiling, an electricity ceiling, a gas ceiling for electricity generation. This is not a standalone issue. It is important what the whole package of measures is so that we know how we will vote."