Bulgaria unveils business funding amid surging gas prices
Bulgaria's outgoing government has conceded domestic businesses will need state compensation packages to be extended to cover surging gas and electricity bills, Novinite.com reported September 13.
The plan was announced by Bulgaria's acting minister of economy and industry, Nikola Stoyanov, who said a compensation package could be ready for the next session of Bulgaria's parliament. Former Bulgarian prime minister Kiril Petkov, who resigned last month, had committed his administration to cover a 14% wholesale gas price increase in May, in addition to partial compensation for electricity usage, according to Reuters.
Petkov was replaced by caretaker Bulgarian prime minister Galab Donev on August 2. Once a permanent government has been appointed, with snap elections due to start on October 2, Stoyanov expects state grants to be expanded with an improved gas supply offer, levelling the playing field for firms heading into the winter regardless of which energy they consume most of.
"When there is compensation for electricity there should be compensation for gas as well and it’s not right to put some companies in a non-competitive situation compared to others," Stoyanov said.
Bulgaria's utilities regulator EWRC sanctioned a 60% hike in gas prices in mid-August, according to the Sofia Globe, increasing it to 297.89 leva/MWh to cope in the energy crunch post-Russian invasion of Ukraine and following Gazprom's curtailment in late April of Bulgarian exports.
Stoyanov added: "I think this is also the understanding of the entire government. We are firmly ‘in favor’ of compensation for gas.
"When there is compensation for electricity there should be compensation for gas as well and it’s not right to put some companies in a non-competitive situation compared to others.
"Firmly there will be a solution and we will prepare a scheme that we will propose to the next parliament, of course, because without a normal parliament we cannot change anything".