SOFIA, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Bulgaria’s energy exchange IBEX will launch intraday trading by the end of March as the Balkan country pushes ahead with further liberalisation of its energy market.
The intraday market is expected to push down expenses for market participants, help renewable energy producers plan their output better and facilitate the bourse’s future plans for tie-ups with European Union power markets, IBEX’s Chief Executive Konstantin Konstantinov said at a presentation of the new trading platform on Tuesday.
“This segment will help market players decrease expenses over imbalances because of the short time between sealing the deal and the actual electricity supply,” Konstantinov said.
Bulgaria launched its day-ahead power exchange, which is state-run, in 2016 and required business and industry to buy their electricity at market prices. Household power prices are set by a regulator.
However, only a few power producers supply electricity on the exchange.
In the face of protests from businesses over spiking energy prices in the liberalised market, the government now plans legal changes to oblige all power generators with a capacity of over 5 megawatts to sell on the exchange.
Konstantinov said more competition on IBEX would help achieve fairer market prices.
Under the plan, proposals should be ready by March to oblige producers - mainly utilities that produce electricity along with heating power, as well as solar and wind energy facilities - that currently sell their output at preferential prices to the state to sell on IBEX instead.
These producers will be compensated for any difference in the price agreed in their contracts and the price on the exchange, the head of the parliamentary energy commission Delyan Dobrev said following a meeting with business organisations.
The government will also speed up talks with the European Commission to cancel long-term power purchase agreements with two large U.S.-owned coal-fired plants so that those plants can offer their output on the energy exchange instead, Dobrev said. (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Susan Fenton)