Bulgaria: Financial loss at TPP Bobov Dol in 2020

, SEE Energy News

Bulgarian thermal power plant Bobov Dol is 630 MW coal-fired power plant commissioned in 2000, located in south-western Bulgaria. It was privatized in 2008 and local consortium Energy MK is the plant’s sole owner. TPP Bobov Dol recorded a consolidated net loss of 1.8 million euros in the first quarter of 2020, compared to a loss of 1.85 million euros in the same period last year.

The company’s total revenues dropped to 12.8 million euros in the first three months of 2020, compared to 14.7 million euros recorded in the same period in 2019. Total expenditures also fell to 14.6 million euros in the same period, from 16.6 million euros a year before, due to a sharp drop in expenses for materials.

In early 2020, TPP Bobov Dol was involved in a scandal over incinerating waste in the plant. In January, Minister of Environment and Water Emil Dimitrov officially said that the Ministry check found that the Bobov Dol power plant has not been burning hazardous waste. The Ministry has reviewed activities in Bobov Dol including the compliance of complex permits for electricity generation and a landfill for non-hazardous waste, as well as all regulatory requirements for waste co-incineration. According to the report from the probe, the operator of the plant violated essential obligations incorporated in environmental legislation including the requirement to have an automatic system for stopping the use of waste in case emissions limit values are exceeded. Also, the power plant has unlawfully discharged flue gases through the chimney.

Soon after, Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev said that pre-trial investigation established the illegal burning of waste mixed with coal at TPP Bobov Dol. Investigations revealed that the permit for test waste burning at the plant has expired and that a site near the TPP stores waste that does not meet indicators of the so-called RDF (Refuse-Derived Fuel). Geshev said that a comprehensive review of compliance with the eco-legislation of the TPPs is yet to be carried out and competency actions will be undertaken to ensure air quality, adding that TPP Bobov Dol has been placed under constant monitoring. In May, the plant’s management said that it plans to change the complex permit in terms of fuel use, and to eliminate RDF-class fuel from the mix.