Italy's Enel Mulls Building Solar Parks in Bulgaria
Italian power company Enel is interested in solar power generation projects in Bulgaria, a senior company official said on Wednesday.
"It is too early to announce any details, as the project was born two weeks ago", the executive director of Enel Operations Bulgaria, Mike Foster, told SeeNews.
Enel owns 73% of the coal-fired power plant Enel Maritsa East 3 in central Bulgaria and a 73% stake in Enel Operations Bulgaria, which manages the plant.
Earlier Enel said it is also considering investing in wind parks and biomass projects in Bulgaria.
Enel Maritsa East 3 will invest some 800 million euro ($1.2 billion) in the modernisation of the plant by 2009. The plant, which has already upgraded three units, will close its last unit for rehabilitation and for the construction of flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) units to produce gypsum in March. The modernisation of the last unit, which is to go operational again in 2009, willl make the plant fully compatible with EU environmental standards, Foster said.
Gypsum is a by-product of the desulphurisation process at coal-fired power plants.
Bulgaria, which joined the European Union in 2007, has to cover 11% of its gross domestic energy consumption by renewable energy sources by 2010, compared to about one percent in 2005, in order to comply with EU directives.
Enel said in September it was willing to invest some 1.0 billion euro in the construction of a new generation unit at Maritsa East 3 in Bulgaria. Besides Enel, U.S. AES, German RWE and German E.ON, as well as Bulgarian company Brikel, have also shown interest in building the new generation unit.
Last month Italy's former electricity monopoly filed its improved bid to become a strategic investor in a project for the construction of a second nuclear plant in Bulgaria.