The new Termal Power Plant, TPP, "AES Galabovo" is being launched Friday near the southern Bulgarian city of Stara Zagora.
The project cost is estimated at EUR 1.2 B. The investor is the American energy giant "AES" with its CEO, Peter Lithgow, stating the company is prepared to slate as much funds as needed because the TPP is a strategic facility for Bulgaria.
Initially the first two units will work at 70% of their capacity, while full capacity will be reached at the end of the year. The price of the electric power will be the highest so far for energy produced by coal from the local Maritsa Iztok (Maritsa East) mine.
AES Galabovo, formerly Bulgaria's state-owned Maritsa East 1 TPP, is a 670-MW thermal plant; it is the first major power plant to be built in Bulgaria in the past 20 years.
Unit 1 of AES Galabovo was supposed to be launched in October 2010, and unit 2 – a month later. However, problems with a turbine delivered by French company Alstom Power delayed the launch, and led AES to terminate it contact with Alstom with their dispute now being tackled in an arbitration court in London.
Meanwhile, the expenditures for including the additional production capacities of the new TPP were calculated in the electricity prices in Bulgaria by the National Electric Company NEK, which increased them by 3% for the end consumer in the last eleven months; on the other hand, the delay caused AES to pay compensations to NEK. The State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation, DKEVR, has promised that this additional income of NEK will be taken into account when determining the new electricity prices as of July 1, 2011, in order to compensate the end consumers.