Minister Borislav Sandov: The forced suspension of the activity of TPP “Maritza 3” in Dimitrovgrad remains in force

12 May, 2022 | 16:35


The forced suspension of the activity of TPP “Maritza 3” AD in Dimitrovgrad remains in force. This was announced by the Minister of Environment and Water Borislav Sandov at a briefing today on the occasion of protests by workers from the TPP.

“The company has asked to work at a lower capacity on the grounds that this is the only way they can prevent the violations for which on April 21 RIEW-Haskovo imposed a coercive administrative measure to suspend its activities. We refused because there are unfulfilled previous prescriptions and the risk of violations on the first day in operation remains,” said Minister Borislav Sandov.

The minister commented on today’s decision by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, which convicted Bulgaria for exceeding the standards for sulfur dioxide in the Southeast region: “The decision is no surprise because Bulgaria constantly neglects the prescriptions by the European Commission (EC). But this is not just a violation of a legal commitment - excessive levels of sulfur dioxide in the air lead to serious health problems. It is no coincidence that there are more health problems in this area. And when we talk about combustion plants, which are the main source of sulfur dioxide, we must always keep this in mind in the first place, because health cannot be replaced.”

The decision by the Court of Justice is the first court decision, but in practice within this infringement procedure the EC will continue to monitor whether we have stopped the violations. Otherwise, the EC will file for the next stage of the court proceedings, which will bring financial sanctions for our country.

“There are other large combustion plants in the Southeast region that pose a risk. A second court decision may not allow Bulgaria to operate on a derogation, which means closing many more TPPs. This would be very difficult for the still unreformed energy system and the delayed decommissioning of non-modernized enterprises,” explained Minister Borislav Sandov.

Regarding the information that appeared in the media about the resumption of the TPP “Maritsa 3” in Dimitrovgrad, the Minister stated without hesitation: “The forced shutdown of the TPP remains in force. I will not allow representatives of companies to threaten regional environmental inspections. Ultimatums that protests will only stop if we let the plant operate are absolutely unacceptable. We work to comply with environmental legislation and are guided only by it. I will continue to be a guarantor for the people within the system of the Ministry of Environment and Water who do their work in good faith and in accord with the law."