Oil Report

Bulgarian coal mines to buy Bobov Dol power plant

SOFIA, June 26 (Reuters) - A group of Bulgarian coal mines, Consortium Energia MK, won a tender to buy the Bobov Dol thermal power plant for 100 million levs ($80.13 million), the country’s privatisation agency said on Thursday.

The only other suitor for the 630-megawatt coal-fired power plant in western Bulgaria was not allowed to bid because it had failed to pay a deposit for the auction. The deal is pending approval by the privatisation agency’s supervisory board.

“We are happy that the mines as suppliers for the plant were allowed to take over it,” Hristo Kovachki, a senior partner in the consortium told reporters.

Kovachki said the new owners will invest 60 million euros in environmental upgrades to bring the plant up to European Union standards.

Bobov Dol has two operational units with output capacity of 210 megawatts and one 210 megawatt unit that has been shut.

“Our first move is to start upgrades so that we can reopen the closed unit and launch a programme for modernisation and desulphurisation of the plant,” Kovachki said.

Two previous attempts to sell the outdated generator to Greece's Public Power Corp DEHr.AT failed mainly due to miners protests who feared the Greek company would not use their coal. (Reporting by Tsvetelia Ilieva; Editing by Erica Billingham)