ECONOMY

Bulgaria power exports fall

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria said on Wednesday its electricity exports fell by 11.6 percent last year to 5.45 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), due to the closure of nuclear reactors and suspension of power supplies to Turkey. Bulgaria’s power export monopoly NECT managed to partly make up for the halted sales to Turkey by launching exports to other Balkan countries, the Energy Ministry said in a report. Last April, Turkey stopped power imports from its Balkan neighbor, saying Bulgaria had failed to press ahead with two infrastructure projects with Turkish contractors that were part of a 10-year bilateral energy deal. Last year European Union candidate Bulgaria bowed to Brussels’s demands and closed down the two oldest 440-megawatt reactors at its Soviet-era Kozloduy nuclear power plant. Bulgaria exported 6.2 billion kWh of power in 2002. It has covered nearly half of the region’s annual power deficit with exports that usually pick up in the summer due to heat waves. An official with NECT said Bulgaria was ready to offer more power supplies to neighboring Greece, which is expected to experience power shortfalls during the Olympics this August.