Thermal power plant (TPP) operator ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 said on Thursday that it will explore potential investments in new low-carbon or no-carbon technologies to support Bulgaria's energy transition, under a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) the company has signed with the energy ministry.
The UK-based ContourGlobal, which majority owns and operates Bulgaria's second-largest coal-fired power plant, will deploy its know-how, development and operation experience, technology competencies and capital in developing new power-generation technologies, ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 said in a press release.
The company will study potential investments in renewable energy sources, battery energy storage (BESS) and carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems as well as co-generation and co-firing facilities for alternative fuels, such as biomass and refuse-derived fuel (RDF), with the aim of helping achieve the European Union's climate targets.
The importance of the Maritsa East coal mining and energy complex for Bulgaria's energy security has been brought to the fore by the war in Ukraine.
"The events after February this year emphasise even more strongly the key role that the power plants in the Maritsa East complex will continue to play in order to have access to electricity and for the country's energy security. The signed memorandum recognises the importance of continuing the sustainable operation of the Maritsa East complex," the power plant operator said.
The MoU will be in force until the end of 2025, the energy ministry said in a separate statement.
Last week, London-listed parent company ContourGlobal agreed to be taken private by US buyout firm KKR & Co for 1.75 billion British pounds ($2.2 billion/2.1 billion euro). KKR has said that the deal will scale up the size and flexibility of investments in the business on the path to its stated ambition to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 40% by 2030 and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
ContourGlobal manages 138 power plants on four continents. Its production assets have a total installed capacity of over 6,300 megawatts (MW) across 20 countries. ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 TPP generated over 13% of Bulgaria's total electricity production in the first three months of 2022.
(1 British pound = 1.177 euro)
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