The Administrative Court of Sofia-city has issued a final decision that the Minister of Energy must provide the Anti-Corruption Fund Foundation (ACF) with access to public information related to the reasons why the state-owned Maritza East 2 Thermal Power Plant (TPP) withdrew from a so-called “cold reserve” contract during the spring of 2018. The Minister had previously refused to disclose the information but, according to the court, the refusal was completely unlawful since the information was of prevailing public interest.
It should be noted that the withdrawal of Maritza Iztok 2, which is the largest state-owned TPP, from the multi-million lev cold reserve contract to provide stand-by capacity to cover times of unexpected electricity demand, opened the way for Varna TPP, a private facility linked to an influential politician, to land the lucrative deal. Despite ACF’s June 2019 revelations about the risk of endangering the country’s energy security, one month ago Varna TPP was again awarded a cold reserve contract by the Energy System Operator. The contract runs until July 2020. A video, outlining ACF’s investigation into the issue, is available for viewing here.
Since the fall of 2018, the majority owner and chairman of the Board of Directors of Varna TPP is Ahmed Dogan – the Honorary Chairman of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms Party.