Bulgaria’s Electricity Prices May Rise 10% if Miners Strike Lasts over One Month

Bulgaria’s Electricity Prices May Rise 10% if Miners Strike Lasts over One Month

Bulgaria's energy regulator said that if the strike in Bulgaria's coal mining complex Maritsa East lasts more than a month, it will entail an increase by at least 10% in electricity bills as of July 1.

If the strike continues for a shorter period, it may not impact at all electricity, state-run Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) reported, quoting the head of the state energy and water regulator, Angel Semerdzhiev.

If the strike goes on for more than a week, it will by all means disrupt the power plants' operation and will be reflected in electricity bills, he added.

The Maritsa East mines supply coal to the country's three major power plants - Mini Maritsa East 2, Contour Global Maritsa East 3 and AES Maritsa East 1.

The plants have coal reserves for at least two - three weeks, but after that they will be forced to reduce production, according to Semerdzhiev. In that case, domestic demand will be covered the thermal power plants of Varna and Bobov Dol, which make up the so called cold reserve as their output is considerably more expensive than the one from Maritsa East.

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