June 23, 2024
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Bulgaria, TPP Maritsa temporarily shut down over environmental issues

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Caretaker Minister of Energy Rossen Hristov said that coal-fired thermal power plant Maritsa 2 will be temporarily shut down due to a series of recent violations of environmental regulations.

Minister Hristov said that the frequency at which TPP Maritsa has exceeded the emission limits permitted under the European Union’s derogation means that just two more violations may cause the derogation to be repealed, thus leading to a compulsory shutdown of all coal-fired power plants in Bulgaria, potentially leading to a 30 % drop in electricity generation.

He added that the capacity of TPP Maritsa 3 is insignificant on the country level and its shut down will not affect Bulgaria’s electricity generation capacity.

Caretaker Environmental Minister Rossitsa Karamfilova said that TPP Maritsa 3 will be inspected by the Ministry in the coming days and will be put back into operation if it fulfills the pre- agreed environmental standards.

In April, Bulgarian Environment Ministry announced that coal-fired thermal power plant Maritsa 3 located in Dimitrovgrad in southern Bulgaria was forced to stop operation due to increased air pollution. The local environmental inspectorate issued an order for coercive administrative measures instructing the power plant to immediately seize operation. The order follows a number of violations of the Environmental Protection Act and breaches of the power plant’s integrated permit in the past months. Maritsa 3 has already been fined for those. The operator violated requirements in its integrated permit regarding the handling of flue gases and the power plant’s sulfur dioxide emissions exceeded the air quality standards in the town of Dimitrovgrad.

However, in June, the Supreme Administrative Court allowed TPP Maritsa 3 to resume operations, arguing that the facility is incurring substantial losses by being shut down and that the rights of more than 200 workers, who are forced into unscheduled leave without pay and risk unemployment, need to be safeguarded.

TPP Maritsa 3 is located in Dimitrovgrad in southern Bulgaria and has 120 MW output. Its largest shareholders is UK-based Topgroup with 49 % stake.


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