site.btaNationalisation of Burgas Refinery Not Planned, There Are Other Options - Caretaker Energy Minister
Nationalisation is not on the agenda, there are many other options, Caretaker Energy Minister Rosen Hristov said regarding the proposals to change the ownership of the Burgas refinery. Hristov spoke to reporters in Brussels where he took part in an extraordinary Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council.
“I don't think this is a serious topic to discuss, nationalisations were done at other times,” the minister said, adding that if Lukoil abandons the refinery, and is unable to put out production, then someone else will be sought to take over.
He pointed out that work was underway to resume the oil pipeline project between Burgas and Alexandroupolis to secure alternative oil supplies, but this would take years. The minister insisted on finding solutions to keep the refinery running.
“To have cheap fuel in Bulgaria, the refinery in Bulgaria must work. So we have to negotiate such conditions that we have our own production. I see that the issue is becoming politicized, but we must think practically and consider the interests of Bulgarian citizens,” Hristov insisted.
He said that at today's EU Council meeting no decision was taken on the European Commission's proposal to cap the gas price to EUR 275 per megawatt-hour. “No decision was taken today, but it is good that we have a concrete proposal. We do not like the fact that the cap is not dynamic but a fixed value, and it is so high that it would not have been triggered even with the crisis prices of August and September. We suggested working towards a dynamic corridor, many countries are of the same opinion,” the minister added.
Hristov said that it was best to link the gas price to world exchanges. “This will give us control over the prices and will not allow us to implement too low a price that will scare away suppliers and cause shortages,” the minister clarified. He said the proposed ceiling was unattainable, so Bulgaria expected supplies even below BGN 200 per megawatt hour.