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Bulgaria to start new sell-off tender for Bobov Dol power plant

Bulgaria to launch a new tender for the privatization of Bobov Dol power plant next month, business news website Investor.bg reported on Monday.

The Bulgarian Privatization Agency will publish the tender announcement next month, after the new evaluation of the power plant's assets is finalized, according to a report. The power plant is for sale after Greek state-owned utility Public Power Corporation (PPC), picked to buy the plant in the previous tender, failed to meet all the prerequisites to sign the privatization contract.

Bulgarian authorities insisted PPC agreed a deal regarding a minimum amount of coal it would buy from local miners, whose livelihood depends on the power plant buying their lignite. Following a year-long contract wrangle between the firm and the miners, the privatization agency cancelled the deal. Bulgarian coal has high sulfur content and can be used only in tandem with expensive equipment that would cut sulfur oxide emissions, which PPC refused to install at Bobov Dol.

Russian steel and coal conglomerate Mechel, which reported $4,4 billion in revenue in 2006, has been mentioned as a prospective bidder in Russian media. But the corporation, which lost out on the Russe power plant earlier this year, would find it hard to beat off competition from European utility firms like E.ON or Enel, which have a strong presence in the country, Russian business daily Vedomosti said. (novinite)