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Mine operator pushes for updated national energy strategy

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Mine operator pushes for updated national energy strategy

Photo: BGNES

The state-owned company, operating the Maritsa Iztok coal mines urged for an updated national energy strategy to ensure Bulgaria's energy independence. Mini Maritsa Iztok CEO Andon Andonov said in a Bulgarian news Agency (BTA) interview that the future strategy should map out the future of his company, which is the largest state-owned coal-mining enterprise in the country. Andonov was interviewed in connection with The Day of the Miner.

He said the brown coal reserves at Radnevo amount to 1.8 billion tonnes and will not be depleted for at least 60 years if the three mines continue to be operated at the current pace. "The brown coal reserves at the Maritsa East mines are crucial for Bulgaria's energy independence, which is very important for national security," Andonov stressed. He noted that the future of Mini Maritsa Iztok depends on the future of the four power plants in the area.

Andonov said he is optimistic. By August 9, the company implemented 63 per cent of its annual investment programme, which is worth 91 million leva. Three of its excavators have been repaired and two new excavators of the RS 2000 and RS 2200 models are being mounted, to go into operation next year. New bulldozers, loaders and other newly built mining equipment has been acquired under the investment programme. Half of the annual maintenance programme has been carried out.

The company hopes that the price of coal will be increased. Since 2014 it has been 77 leva per tonne of fuel equivalent. Mini Maritsa Iztok have submitted a request for an increase by 4 leva per tonne, stating that the change is not expected to affect consumers.

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