Financial and business news from Bulgaria

Temenuzhka Petkova: The measures we have taken are relevant to the situation

“Each country, in accordance with its economic parameters and capabilities, may take such measures as it deems most appropriate. We have made our assessment and the measures that we believe are relevant to the situation have already been materialised in the Law on Emergency.” This was what Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova told BNR.
The country's energy security is guaranteed despite the emergency situation due to the coronavirus, Temenuzhka Petkova assured. In her words, it is important that the energy sector be financially stable so that there are no risks to the technical possibility of it functioning normally.

Parliament has adopted what we are proposing - to ensure the continuity of supply, and plans for repairs of the electrical network are suspended, Petkova explained.

As a particularly important measure, the Minister of Energy pointed to the double increase in the deadline for payment of electricity bills: “The law clearly states that the Minister of Energy has the opportunity to extend this period - as much as necessary, but taking into account the financial stability of the sector. In her words, the introduction of a moratorium on payments is not on the agenda because it would threaten the financial and technical stability of the sector, and the extension of the deadline for payment of bills is currently adequate assistance for citizens.

As early as next week, concrete actions are expected on the reduction in the price of gas, agreed retroactively with Gazprom, Minister Petkova added.

"Both “Balkan Stream” and the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector move within the deadlines stipulated in the treaties. The Belene NPP project will require an extension of the deadlines set out in the procedure for selecting a strategic investor,” the Minister of Energy assured. She suggested that the crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic would probably require an extension of the period for submission of bids under the Belene project and specified that all five companies that confirmed their desire to submit a binding bid retain their interest in the project.

Green Deal

Minister Petkova expressed confidence that the EU will not give up its ultimate goal - to be a leader in the fight against climate change. She was adamant that Bulgaria has its own framework position, which is already presented to the Commission - by 2030, with a horizon of 2050, the coal plants in the country continue to be the capacities that will be relied on. Petkova pointed out that there were no remarks from the EC, and there was only a recommendation that RES should be increased from 25 per cent to 27 per cent. “We have complied with this and we are working in that direction,” she stated.