Bulgargaz: Regulator-Proposed Natural Gas Price Will Drive Company to Insolvency

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Bulgargaz: Regulator-Proposed Natural Gas Price Will Drive Company to Insolvency

The State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (SEWRC) argues that the natural gas price should rise by 5.16 per cent as from the third quarter of 2008, BTA reported.

At a public discussion in Sofia on Tuesday, Bulgargaz said that if the rise is by the margin proposed by the regulator, the company will lose some 45 million leva for the third quarter and 77 million leva for January 1 - October 1.

Bulgargaz Executive Director Dimiter Gogov said that if the SEWRC price is adopted, Bulgargaz will become insolvent: it will have to purchase 100 million cu m of gas less and will thus be unable to ensure normal gas supply to its customers. For their part, SEWRC said they had based the price on data provided by the company itself.

Electricity and heat power prices will be increased by some 13 per cent as from July 1, 2008, said SEWRC Chairman Konstantin Shoushoulov.

He added that it will become clear before the end of this week whether the Commission will suspend the quarterly electricity meter reading which is already practised in Western Bulgaria. Shoushoulov said that the idea of quarterly meter reading is to cut the costs of electricity distribution companies and hence to reduce the price that consumers pay. The SEWRC Chairman said that if the quarterly meter reading does not compy with European standards, it will be suspended.

The SEWRC will finalize the prices of electricity, heat power and natural gas at a closed meeting on June 26.

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