Bidder short-listing for Bulgarian thermal plants is postponed

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria postponed making a short list of eligible bidders for its three thermal power plants, which analysts say could bring up to 250 million euros ($340 million) in proceeds, its sell-off agency said yesterday. Bulgaria is selling its coal-fired plants in Varna, Rousse and Bobov Dol in a move to liberalize its power market ahead of EU entry in 2007. It pushed back its short-list deadline, originally set for yesterday, by nearly two weeks, but said the move would not delay the sale process. «The deadline has been extended to January 10 due to the need for additional information on the candidates,» the privatization agency spokeswoman said. «But the date for final bids for the three utilities is still March 25.» Twelve energy majors, including Greece’s PPC, have expressed interest in the sale of the three aging plants, which produce around a fifth of Bulgaria’s 10,000 megawatts of installed capacity.