Bulgaria, Employers’ organizations discussed energy prices with President

, SEE Energy News

Bulgarian employers’ organizations met with President Rumen Radev to discuss ways of helping businesses mitigate the increase in electricity prices. They considered specific scenarios of compensating businesses for the sky-rocketing energy prices and found that they speak the same language as far as the situation on the energy market is concerned.

According to the President of BICA Vassil Velev, employers’ organizations would accept compensations for any price of electricity over 94.5 euros/MWh but would not accept any conditions on the amount of the compensations. He reminded that businesses’ proposal was for compensations equal to 75 % of the price that is in excess of the forecasted market price of 60.8 euros/MWh set by the energy regulator. The Energy Ministry has proposed that the compensations are no more than three-quarters of the price in excess of 94.5 euros/MWh, which was the market price for July, with an additional cap set at 30 % of the market price. Employers argued that the price of electricity is expected to reach somewhere between 250 and 400 euros/MWh and would not accept the additional caps.

The two sides also discussed the need to develop a new energy strategy. The employers organizations urged the President to set up an advisory body to work on the strategy and on extreme situations as the current one with energy prices.

Velev said that in the various scenarios, the Bulgarian energy industry will get after the compensations additional profits to the tune of some 250 million euros in the first quarter of 2022. He said that energy-intensive businesses will not survive long without compensations for the high electricity prices. They have already downsized their operations and those who have shut down will likely never restart again.

At the same time, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said that tackling the energy crisis is top priority for the newly established Government. He said that, at the end of the year, the Government should allocate additional funds to support the electricity distribution companies and the business, thus potentially reducing final energy prices for households.