Bulgaria, TPP Maritsa 3 was forced to stop operation due to increased air pollution

, SEE Energy News

Bulgarian Environment Ministry announced that coal-fired thermal power plant Maritsa 3 located in Dimitrovgrad in southern Bulgaria was forced to stop operation due to increased air pollution. The local environmental inspectorate issued an order for coercive administrative measures instructing the power plant to immediately seize operation.

The order follows a number of violations of the Environmental Protection Act and breaches of the power plant’s integrated permit in the past months. Maritsa 3 has already been fined for those.

The newly issued order states that TPP Maritsa 3 must stop operation immediately and its coal and biomass slots (where the fuel is fed to the boiler) must be sealed.

The operator violated requirements in its integrated permit regarding the handling of flue gases and the power plant’s sulfur dioxide emissions exceeded the air quality standards in the town of Dimitrovgrad.

The plant’s legal representative Julian Semerdjiev said that nothing calls for such emergency of action and denied that any requirements in the integrated permit were violated.

The European Commission is suing Bulgaria for excessive sulfur dioxide levels and the case has reached an advanced stage where sanctions are expected to be imposed soon.