EC approves 94M euro state aid for waste-to-energy co-generation plant in Sofia

The European Commission said on November 25 that it has approved Bulgaria’s request for about 94 million euro in state aid for the construction and operation of a high-efficient co-generation plant in capital city Sofia.

Bulgaria’s state aid application was assessed on both the EU’s 2014 guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy, as well as the 2012 energy efficiency directive, the Commission said in a statement.

“In this respect, the Commission found that the combined production of heat and electricity by the new plant will enable a primary energy saving of 46.5 per cent compared to a scenario in which heat and electricity would be produced separately, thus meeting the criteria set out in the Energy Efficiency Directive,” the EC said.

The construction and operation of the Sofia co-generation plant also complied with EU’s 2008 waste directive, as the plant would only use refuse that has already been subject to preliminary treatment and cannot be recycled any further.

The plant, which will have a capacity of about 55MW of heat and 19MW of electricity, will be built by the municipality-owned heating utility Toplofikatsiya, with construction set to be completed by the end of 2023.

Under the plan, the bulk of the state aid will come from a 90.8 million euro grant of EU funds, as well as a three million euro loan from Sofia city hall.

“The support measure will help Bulgaria achieving its energy-efficiency targets and will contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in line with the EU environmental objectives, without unduly distorting competition,” competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in the statement.

(European Commission headquarters Berlaymont building. Photo: JLogan)



The Sofia Globe staff

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