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Industry News

$300 Million Allocated For Plants in Bulgaria

LCG, Jan. 17, 2002--Two joint ventures involving Bulgaria's National Electricity Company (NEC) will receive as much as $300 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction to construct and upgrade coal-fired plants.

The projects will be managed by U.S. firms AES Corp. and Entergy Corp.

The project developed with AES Corp. will be a new 670-megawatt plant at Maritsa East One section, and will replace a former unit at the site. The plant is seen as requiring a 980 million euro ($863 million U.S.) investment. The other, a joint venture between the NEC and Entergy, is planned as a 470 milion euro ($414 million U.S.) project to upgrade and operate an 840-megawatt plant at Maritsa East Three section.

Michael Delia, the EBRD's Deputy Directory for Bulgaria, said "EBRD has been mandated to provide financing for both projects. We have been asked to provide between $100 million and $150 million to each of them."

The bank, which will also extend a loan to upgrade and extend Bulgaria's power transmission system, intends to assist the Energy Ministry in privatizing the seven transmission companies in Bulgaria. The ministry wants to sell the companies by year's end. Loans will also aid in modernizing district heating operations over four years.

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