Bulgaria: Continuous debt at TPP Maritsa East 2

, SEE Energy News

Despite the generous state aid it has received this year, the financial situation at Bulgaria’s state-owned coal-fired thermal power plant Maritsa East 2 continues to deteriorate rapidly.

The loss reported at the end of September increased by 97.7 million euros, while debts increased by an additional 130 66.5 euros in just six months – from April to September. At the same time, electricity production was decreased by 45 % compared to the previous year and the sale of electricity on the free market is almost impossible due to the high production costs of the thermal power plant.

TPP Maritsa East 2 actually works only because the state artificially maintains it, obviously fearing a workers’ strike. In reality, there is currently almost no benefit from its operation, because its production can easily be compensated by a higher load of thermal power plants owned by US companies AES and ContourGlobal, as well as NEK’s hydropower plants. TPP Maritsa East 2 operated with about 25 % of capacity in the first nine months of this year. Maintaining the operation of TPP Maritsa East 2 without a long-term plan, just by pumping money, shows that Bulgaria does not have a clear energy development strategy. From the economic point of view, the state-owned thermal power plant should have gone bankrupt a long time ago – the accumulated loss of the company is more than 500 million euros and the total amount of debts is over 570 million euros.

In the first nine months of 2020, revenues amount to 172.1 million euros, while losses amounted to 97.7 million euros, which is as much as 56.8 % of the total turnover. The most obvious reason for the difficult situation in which the state-owned TPP finds itself are the costs of CO2 emissions – almost 95 million euros in the first nine months of the year.