Bulgaria's energy regulator said it has launched a procedure to revoke the licences of the power distribution units of Czech companies CEZ and Energo-Pro, and of Austria's EVN.
Acting on a complaint by the state-owned power utility NEK, the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission has established that EVN Bulgaria Elektrosnabdiavane and Energo-Pro Sales have been offsetting payables to NEK against receivables from the power utility in violation of the existing regulations, the commission said. CEZ Bulgaria, in breach of the terms of its licence, has been retaining payments to NEK, conditioning them on the recovery of costs it has made stemming from its obligation to purchase electricity at preferential prices.
With their actions EVN Bulgaria Elektrosnabdiavane, CEZ Electro Bulgaria and Energo-Pro Sales deprive NEK of the funds it needs to perform its business and render it impossible for the power utility to make payments to the electricity producers, thus jeopardising the security of power supplies, the commission said, adding that they have seven days to end these practices and eradicate their impact.
The three companies deny any wrongdoing.
EVN's outstanding payments to NEK total 216.6 million levs ($154.2 million/110.7 million euro), CEZ owes the power utility 67.3 million levs, and Energo-Pro's liabilities add up to 63.7 million levs.