Bulgaria is expected to resume its electricity exports to Turkey at the end of March 2010, according to the head of the Bulgarian National Electric Company NEK, Krasimir Parvanov.
"I am all up for restarting the electricity trade with our southern neighbor because it is no secret that the prices there are better than the market prices in the region," Parvanov said during a forum at the Parliament organized by the Sofia-based Center for the Study of Democracy entitled "Energy and Better Governance: Trends and Policies."
In October 2010, during a visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sofia, Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism, Traicho Traikov, and his Turkish counterpart, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz agreed that Bulgaria can start exporting electricity to Turkey once Turkey completes the synchronization of its power network with the European electricity network (UCTE) that it formally joined in September.
At the time the agreement was made, the two parties expressed hopes that Bulgaria could start exporting electricity to Turkey by the end of 2010.
Turkey stopped buying electricity from Bulgaria in 2003 arguing the latter did not fulfill the intergovernmental agreement signed in 1998, which stipulated Bulgarian electricity exports for Turkey in exchange for the participation of Turkish companies in Bulgarian infrastructure projects.
Under the 1998, the Turkish company Tetas bought from Bulgaria 4 billion kW/h of electricity annually.
On Tuesday, Parvanov said that NEK could use money from its international trade for investments into Bulgaria's power grid as long as the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) approves NEK's investment plan.
The NEK CEO said that his company will ask DKEVR to approve an investment plan for 2011 worth BGN 219 M, which is a 50% compared with the investments in 2010; 80% of these are supposed to be spent on rehabilitation of the power grid.