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Bulgaria energy Minister replaces head of biggest thermal power plant

Date: 29.04.2007

Bulgaria's Energy and Economy Minister Rumen Ovcharov accepted on Thursday the resignation of Atanas Dimitrov, the head of Bulgaria's biggest thermal power plant Maritsa Iztok II.

Dimitrov resigned after a probe found he breached the public procurement legislation in picking companies to carry out projects worth close to BGN 8 M.

He was also found to be at fault for the delayed implementation of the plant's upgrade works, which could cost the plant BGN 37 M in lost revenue.

A second probe is set to determine whether there are enough grounds to begin court proceedings against Dimitrov, who was replaced at the helm of the company by Todor Mihailov.

Mihailov was in charge of the plant between 1992 and 2000.

The Maritsa Iztok II coal-powered thermal plant has an installed capacity of 1,440 MW and generates close to 30% of Bulgaria's power output.

Japan's Mitsui is now upgrading it and when works are completed in 2009, its installed capacity will be 25% higher, while increasing the lifespan of its power generators by 20 years.

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