Italy's Enel on Friday said the talks on the sale of its 73% stake in Bulgaria's Maritsa East 3 thermal power plant are still in progress. Earlier on Friday, Sofia-based Trud daily reported that the sale of the stake for 800 million euro ($630.5 million) will be officially announced within two weeks.
"With regards to press speculation on a possible agreement for the sale of Enel Maritza East III power plant in Bulgaria to the Russian company InterRao, Enel wishes to clarify that the sale process is still ongoing and no agreement with InterRao or any other parties has been reached," Enel said in a statement sent to SeeNews. "Therefore no decision has been taken by Enel, pending the finalisation of the process."
Enel bought 73% of the 908 megawatt coal-fired power plant in 2004 pledging to invest 803 million euro in its rehabilitation, Trud reported, quoting Economy Ministry data. Enel has said the project has cost it a total of 900 million euro so far, which means the Italian company is now cashing out at a loss, the daily added.
The remaining 23% of the power station are owned by Bulgarian state-owned utility NEK.