Ginka Varbakova and the Failed Plan for the Largest Solar Plant in Southeastern Europe

On 4 July 2008, Pazardzhik Municipality signed a contract with Real States EOOD. The private company is owned by Ginka Varbakova, whose subsequent bid to acquire the Bulgarian assets of the Czech electricity company ČEZ, generated significant controversy in the country. Real States paid BGN 500,000 for nearly 2,000 decares of municipal land.

The investor was tasked with building a solar photovoltaic park with capacity of 50 MW. The stipulated deadline was 32 months from the issue date of the construction permit. The contract outlined a number of other conditions for the investor to meet and contained a penalty clause, allowing the municipality to ask for EUR 1 mln. in case clauses were violated.

Абонирайте се за бюлетина на АКФ, за да научавате за най-новите ни разследвания и анализи:

С натискане на бутона потвърждавате, че сте запознати с Политиката ни за поверителност

To date, only 2.45 MW of the pledged 50 have been installed. ACF’s review of the contract and three annexes signed subsequently showed that the municipality failed to invoke the penalty clause and to protect the public interest. On 20 November 2018, ACF filed a report with the Specialized Prosecution. On 5 June 2019, the prosecution decided it would not open an investigation into the case.

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Access to Public Information Request Sent to Regional Directorate for National Building Control

ACF asked for information regarding the building permit issued to Real States EOOD. Despite the company's unwillingness for such information to be disclosed, the directorate has suplied ACF with a copy of the required permit.

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ACF Files Report Regarding Pazardjik Municipality's Failure to Seek Compensation

The report is filed with the Specialized Prosecution.

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Access to Public Information Request Sent to Pazardzhik Municipality

ACF requested information about the contract signed between the municipality and Real States EOOD.

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ACF Given Three Annexes to the Contract, Signed by Pazardzhik Municipality and Real States EOOD

Copies of the documents, dated 20.05.2011, 31.05.2011, and 23.07.2010 were provided to ACF, following proceedings under the Access to Public Information Act.

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Report Sent to Public Financial Inspection Agency (PFIA)

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PFIA Replies

The agency said it would initiate a financial inspection of Pazardzhik Municipality once it has the necessary administrative capacity.

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The Specialized Prosecution Refuses to Start Proceedings

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ACF Sends Formal Inquiry to PFIA

The inquiry asked about the financial inspection that PFIA had said it would perform.

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PFIA Replies Saying Inspection Not Started Yet