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Bulgaria to stop electricity exports in November

Date: 21.10.2007

Bulgaria will halt exports of electricity at the end of November, to ensure it has enough to cover domestic consumption, deputy economy minister Yordan Dimov said on Thursday.

"I don't expect we'll have to introduce electricity rationing, but this is the first time we are entering the winter period with four reactors [at Kozloduy nuclear power plant] offline," Dimov told reporters.

The ministry is counting on increased production from the Bobov Dol, Varna and Maritza Iztok thermal power plants to compensate for shutting down two Soviet-made 440 MW units at its Kozloduy nuclear power plant last January, before joining the EU.

The key power plant will be Maritza Iztok II, which will work at full capacity in January-March 2008, even if that means paying high fees for greenhouse emissions, Dimov said.

The ministry is resolute that the Japanese consortium between Mitsui and Toshiba, which has won the tender to upgrade the plant with emissions-cutting technology, pays the fines because of delays in carrying out the project.

Bulgaria has exported 3,5 million MWh of power so far this year, according to government statistics.

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