12 April 2010 – Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), the mega-structure grouping all big state-owned energy companies will be dissolved by the end of June.
The announcement was made by the Bulgarian economy and energy minister, Traicho Traikov, who spoke during a round table titled: “Bulgaria: Attractive Investment Destination.” The cabinet is still mulling if they should make all companies now part of the Holding independent firms or group them in a suitable way, Traikov said.
According to the minister, by the end of the year the National Electric Company (NEK) or parts of it such as the water power plants (WPP), majority or minority shares of the thermal power plants (TPP) “Maritsa-Iztok 2 and 3” would be offered for sale through the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.
Traikov said two of the owners of the three electric power distribution companies in the country are interested in purchasing the State shares while the third prefers for the state to remain its owner. In addition, the minister pointed out that the cabinet’s measures aimed at organized crime and the improvement noted in the judicial system, contribute to increased interest towards Bulgaria on the part of foreign investors.
Shortly after coming into office in July, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced plans to close BEH, but failed to push them through. The cabinet subjected BEH to financial checks to find out how the money poured into it for raising its capital has been used.
BEH was created in 2008 with the merger of five state-owned companies – the National Electric Company (NEK), the gas monopoly Bulgargaz, the Maritza Iztok Mines, the Maritza Iztok 2 Thermal Plant, and the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant into a EUR4bn ($5.5bn) energy giant.
The holding is a sole owner joint-stock company with a 100 per cent Bulgarian state ownership.