The change of a European regulation puts at risk the energy security of our country

We are concerned about what is happening. We are working in close cooperation and actively support all institutions involved in the protection of the national interest in the upcoming change of the reference document on Best Available Techniques for Large Combustion Plants, caretaker Deputy Energy Minister Konstantin Delisivkov said during a Roundtable organized by the Confederation of the Independent Syndicates in Bulgaria.

As it is already known, a change of the reference document on best available techniques for large combustion plants is forthcoming. The document addresses the plants with a thermal input exceeding 50 MW. It covers all conventional power plants, as well as industrial combustion plants using conventional fuel (coal, biomass, peat, liquid and gaseous fuels, waste).

The document is expected to be voted on 28 April this year by a special committee set up by Member States in the framework of Art. 75 of Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions (Directive on integrated pollution prevention and control). When voting, the leading institution that represents the national position is the Ministry of Environment and Water.

The levels for mercury emissions, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide from power plants, set in the referent document, are very difficult to achieve and put at risk the development of the coal mining and the energy, both in the country and on the European continent as a whole.

The participants in the discussion agreed that the adoption of the document would create considerable difficulties for the energy sector and threaten the operation of part of the facilities. In addition to serious socio-economic negative consequences, associated with job losses in the coal sector and its related industries and decrease of the economic growth, this also poses a risk to the national security of the country.

According to data provided by the trade unions, the direct effect of the new measures will include the phasing out of 3 to 5 megawatts base load from the electricity system of the country, loss of around 33 thousand jobs in the coal industry and more than 120 thousand jobs in related industries. The change will affect plants which produce more than 40 % of the electricity for the whole country.

The participants in the Roundtable agreed that in order to prevent the adoption of the document as such, a consensus position of all relevant authorities and institutions is required. In support of this, the Ministry of Energy will organize a discussion on the topic on 27 March, which is supposed to help in clarifying and promoting a national position to defend the competitiveness of the Bulgarian and European energy industry.

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