SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria said yesterday it had increased electricity exports to Serbia and Montenegro, Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Albania this month, covering 75 percent of the region’s monthly power deficit. Bulgaria’s power export monopoly NETC said in a statement it had signed contracts to export a total of 600 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity this month and 550 million kWh next month. Local energy experts attributed higher power demand to Europe’s heat wave, which has prompted intensive use of air conditioners, fans and refrigerators. «We have received demands for more power purchases for future periods from Serbia, Albania and other foreign power trading companies,» NETC said without providing more details. A spokeswoman for NETC told Reuters Bulgaria exported a total of 2.6 billion kWh of power from the beginning of this year to early August. Bulgaria began to actively look for new power export markets in late April, when Turkey – its previous biggest power client – halted purchases from its Balkan neighbor. Turkey has said it halted power imports because Bulgaria had failed to press ahead with two infrastructure projects that were part of a 10-year bilateral energy deal.