Toshiba signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in energy development with Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD

EnergyBusinessSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 1/2011

Toshiba Corporation and Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD (BEH EAD) signed a Memorandum of understanding (MOU), under which they will discuss further developing cooperation in the field of energy and energy efficiency. The potential relationship between the parties includes closer cooperation in energy generation, including thermal power, hydro power, nuclear power and solar photovoltaic power, and increasing the efficiency of power transmission and distribution through the development of smart grids. The MOU signing was attended by Mr. Traicho Traikov, Bulgaria’s Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, who was in Japan with a Bulgarian delegation led by the Prime Minister, and who visited Toshiba to mark completion of Toshiba’s work in the rehabilitation of Maritsa East 2 Thermal Power Plant project. The thermal power plant Maritsa Iztok 2 has launched its Block 6 on October 11 2010 back to full capacity, after the facility underwent a thorough overhaul and modernization. The rehabilitation of Block 6 began on December 24 2009. It was executed with financial resources made available from the power plant itself. As a consequence, the capacity of the block was increased from 210 to 230 megawatts and the facility’s lifespan by another 25 years. The upgrade, which cost 68.7 million leva, consisted of the plant’s turbine being modernized by Toshiba, while Bulgarian company Risk Engineering replaced the former generator with a new one. Energoremont – Galabovo rehabilitated cauldron 10, while the rest of the overhaul was carried out by the Maritsa East 2 personnel. Blocks 7 and 8 are also poised to undergo complete overhaul. The rehabilitation of Block 8 was launched in August 2010, while the complete cost of the process will be covered by Maritsa Iztok. Once the facilities are refitted, they will become more efficient, with the cost of limestone used being slashed by two per cent, while the sulfur purification installations will increase their efficiency from 92 per cent to more than 94 per cent.
BEH EAD is a shareholding company with 100% state owned participation. The Holding includes companies having activities in electricity generation and transmission, mining and companies with activities in gas transmission and public supply: Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD, Maritsa East 2 TPP EAD, Kozloduy NPP EAD, NEK EAD, Electricity System Operator EAD, Bulgargaz EAD, Bulgartransgaz EAD and Bulgartel EAD. BEH EAD subject of activity is acquisition, management, assessment and sale of participations in trading companies, carrying out business activity in the fields of generation, production, transmission, transit, storage, management, distribution, sale and/or purchase of natural gas, electricity, thermal power, coals, as well as any other type of energy and raw materials for the production.
Electricity in Bulgaria is currently generated mainly by thermal power and nuclear power, and exports surplus electricity to neighboring countries. Following its accession to the EU in January 2007, the country has promoted a program of mitigating climate change by streamlining existing power plants to raise operating efficiency and by promoting increasing use of renewable resources. It has also introduced a feed-in tariff to encourage homeowners and businesses to install renewable power generation equipment, such as solar power.
Toshiba Group and BEH EAD have a long standing business relationship that includes equipment for the Chaira hydro power plant and rehabilitation of Kozloduy nuclear power plant and the Maritsa East 2 thermal power plant. On the basis of the MOU, Toshiba will seek to build on this to promote a mutually beneficial cooperative relationship and to support BEH EAD in providing the Bulgarian government with strategic advice and policy implementation in energy and infrastructure. Toshiba could contribute to conduct of feasibility studies on key infrastructure essential for securing Bulgaria’s continued economic growth, including thermal, hydro and nuclear power, and the development of mega solar photovoltaic power systems and carbon capture and storage, with the objective of securing stable energy supply in harmony with environment. Therefore, Toshiba and Tokyo Electric Power will be teaming up with the Japanese government to construct one of the largest solar power stations in the world in Bulgaria. The plant site will be the eastern city of Yambol and completion is expected to be by March 2012. The cost is slated at more than 100 billion Japanese Yen (US$1.2 billion).Toshiba, Tokyo Electric, Japanese trader Itochu and the government-backed Innovation Network of Japan will set up a local joint venture, investing a total of around JPY50 billion. CEZ Group, the seventh ranked European power utility will also take part in the joint-venture. The plant is set to start with an output capacity of approximately 50,000 kilowatts.

Source: Toshiba Corporation