Italgen puts Bulgaria expansion on hold

Italgen puts Bulgaria expansion on hold
Published: 04 May 2011

Italian energy group, Italgen, will not develop any more projects in Bulgaria until the upgrade of the country’s power grid is completed, news agency SeeNews reported yesterday.

Italgen, part of cement producer Italcementi, has set up a joint venture with Italian wind turbines maker Leitwind to build and operate two 9MW wind farms in Kavarna, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.

The two wind farms had to wait a long time before being fully connected to the grid and problems related to the limited grid capacity still persist, SeeNews quoted the company’s managing director, Giuseppe De Beni, as saying.

Last summer tourists and residents in resorts and residential areas north of the Black Sea city of Burgas were left without electricity for more than 30 hours after a high-voltage transmission line of the country’s power grid operator NEK broke down due to overloading. The state energy regulator required NEK to prepare a detailed report on the investments it had made to increase the security of its grid. NEK, in turn, pledged to invest some BGN 40m (US$30m) in new transmission capacities along the Black Sea coast in order to prevent power failures.