Employer Organization Calls for Measures against Rising Electricity Prices

Employer Organization Calls for Measures against Rising Electricity Prices

107 ECONOMY - ELECTRICITY - PRICES - amplified

Employer Organization Calls
for Measures against Rising
Electricity Prices


Sofia, December 4 (BTA) - The leadership of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) insisted in a letter to Prime Minister Boyko Borissov that measures should be taken against what they see as an unfounded rise of electricity prices which has continued for months. The text of the letter was made available to the media by BICA's press office on Tuesday.

BICA said that high electricity prices have caused some energy intensive plants to stop part of their production activities. "Therefore, we call for timely, vigorous and concrete actions," the employer organization said.

Since August electricity prices have increased considerably above forecast levels, and over the last few weeks and days they have reached "speculative rates" of 250-275 leva/MWh. "An increase by more than 350 per cent is anything but normal," BICA said.

People in charge of the sector have tried to explain that this is only due to the market, but what they have said is "either a deliberate falsehood or totally unacceptable incompetence," the organization said. They warned that it is just a matter of time for households to be affected by the rising electricity prices through the regulated electricity market segment.

Reacting to BICA's allegations, Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX) Chief Executive Officer Konstantin Konstantinov said prices on IBEX depend on the prospective buyers and sellers. "The prices are the result of binding offers submitted by the buyers and the sellers," he said, adding that IBEX is only an intermediary and cannot influence the prices in any way.

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The sale of the Bulgarian assets of Czech energy company CEZ will not influence the price of electricity because it is set by the energy regulator, CEZ Bulgaria Chief Executive Karel Kral told journalists on Tuesday. CEZ Bulgaria is well prepared for the winter, Kral said. He declined to comment on the course of the sale.

"Prague Daily Monitor" quoted another Czech publication, "Hospodarske Noviny," as saying that CEZ has restarted talks with India Power about the sale of its Bulgarian assets. CEZ had originally reached an agreement with competitor Inercom earlier this year, to sell its assets for 320 million euro, but the Bulgarian antitrust regulator blocked the deal, the website recalled. Inercom and CEZ challenged the regulator's decision in court and are still awaiting a verdict. CEZ will negotiate with India Power in the meanwhile, and hopes to sell its assets in the new year, "Prague Daily Monitor" said. LY/VE
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Source: Sofia