May 20, 2010 / 3:01 PM / 9 years ago

EVN says eyes Enel's Bulgaria coal-fired plant

*EVN interested in 908 MW Maritsa East Three plant

*EVN not in direct talks with Enel

SOFIA, May 20 (Reuters) - Austria’s utility EVN (EVNV.VI) is interested in acquiring Enel’s (ENEI.MI) majority stake in a Bulgarian thermal power plant, EVN Bulgaria regional manager Joerg Sollfelner said on Thursday.

In March, the chief executive of Italy’s biggest utility, Fulvio Conti, said Enel had started a process to sell its Bulgarian operations. [ID:nWEB6182]

Sollfelner said EVN was interested in Enel’s 73-percent stake in a 908 megawatt coal-fired plant, Maritsa East Three, but that it was not in direct talks with the Italian company. The remaining stake is held by Bulgarian state utility NEK.

EVN, which supplies electricity to over 1.6 million people in southeast Bulgaria, was looking for investment opportunities in power production in the Balkan country to ensure long term power supplies to its customers, Sollfelner told Reuters.

Bulgarian media reports said British utility International Power IPR.L has also shown an interest in the plant, where Enel completed a 700 million-euro ($869.1 million) upgrade last year.

Last Sunday, EVN said it was buying the 30.1 percent stake of Turkish CCG in a long-delayed, 500-million-euro hydropower project in Bulgaria. [ID:nLDE64F08K]

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by David Cowell

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