Vladimir Malinov: Actions have been taken to renegotiate the terms of the contract with "Botash"

The liberalization of the energy market is not an increase in the price of electricity, but an opportunity to choose a supplier and properly plan consumption, the minister explained

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The increase in the price of electricity for household consumers will be below 1.5% on average for the three operators of the distribution networks from July 1, said the Acting Minister of Energy Vladimir Malinov in the program "Why, Mr. Minister" on bTV.

According to him, the correct structuring of costs for the Kozloduy NPP is the reason why the price of electricity did not increase much.

When asked what the cost of this effort is, given that the margin of price increase is very small, Malinov explained: "Covering the deficit in the "Security of the Electric Power System" fund, which is still around BGN 500 million, because otherwise this deficit The Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) had to take it into account and cover it in the new regulatory period that will start on July 1. The other is the electricity produced by the Kozloduy NPP. It occupies more than 40% in the share of the price for the household".

According to Malinov, the increase in the price of electricity, which was determined by EWRC, is fair and it is significantly below the inflation index.

On whether we will lose money from the Recovery Plan due to the delay of a year in the liberalization of the electricity market, he said: "It is a matter of proper management and a defensive position before the European Commission. We are part of the European Union and we do not stand on either side of the barricade. I believe that if the government correctly defines its priorities and defends its position precisely with arguments that liberalization has not been postponed and it will happen, we should not lose funds".

The minister stressed that the liberalization of the electricity market has not been postponed and added that anyway the full liberalization of the retail price for household consumers and under the current law will take place from January 1, 2026. "The mechanism by which the be compensated for the period from July 1 of this year to next year. We were not ready for this moment. "Liberalization is not an increase in price, but the opportunity to choose your electricity supplier and properly plan your electricity consumption," commented Malinov.

Vladimir Malinov also commented on the new project for the construction of a vertical gas corridor. The vertical gas corridor is a project that is key not only for Bulgaria. The suspension of gas transmission through Ukraine in 2025 will put not only the countries of Central Europe, but also our Ukrainian colleagues in new challenges, it became clear from Malinov's words. The vertical gas corridor project is supported by both the EU and our country's partners from the USA. In Bulgaria, the activities on the expansion of the gas transmission network along the South-North axis have already started.

He believes that the terms of the contract with "Botash", which the National Assembly gave him the mandate to renegotiate, appropriate actions have been taken. The conditions should be improved and the contract will be beneficial for Bulgargaz. Regarding the transmission operator - "Bulgartransgaz", the contract has always been good for our country, it became clear from Malinov's words.

The minister also noted that the sixth unit of the Kozloduy NPP was stopped as planned due to a technical problem. "The recurrence of the problem must be dealt with seriously, with professionalism, and all the necessary activities must be carried out. The repair of the sixth unit will continue until the end of June and will be extended if necessary," said the energy minister.

He explained that there is no doubt that the new fresh American fuel has been secured at the fifth unit of the Kozloduy NPP.

Regarding the construction of new nuclear units at the Kozloduy site, the minister assured that the mistakes made with the construction of the Belene NPP will not be made.

When asked whether he would remain in the position of Minister of Energy in a regular cabinet, Malinov said: "At the moment, I have no proposals. I would consider such a proposal. There must be a government with a clear mandate, with a Euro-Atlantic focus, which will take over the management of Bulgaria in the foreseeable future".

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