Maritsa Iztok-1 power station

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Maritsa Iztok-1 power station is an operating power station of at least 690-megawatts (MW) in Galabovo, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. It is also known as AES Galabovo.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Maritsa Iztok-1 power station Galabovo, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria 42.1573, 25.9084 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

Loading map...

Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 2: 42.1573, 25.9084

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - lignite 345 unknown 2011
Unit 2 operating coal - lignite 345 unknown 2011

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 AES Corp [100.0%]
Unit 2 AES Corp [100.0%]

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source(s): Maritsa Iztok coal basin


Maritsa Iztok-1 is located near Galabovo. In October 1998, the old power plant with a capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) was privatized and sold to Consolidated Continental Commerce (3C), later purchased by AES Corporation. On 15 February 2000, AES and the Bulgarian grid operator NEK EAD signed a 15-year tolling agreement, according to which AES has an obligation to replace the old power station with a new facility.[1]

In June 2006, AES started construction of the new power station.[2] It became operational on 3 June 2011.[3] The new power station consists of two pulverised coal boilers of 335 MW each, two steam turbines, two generators and desulphurisation facilities.[2] The plant was constructed by Alstom.[2] It cost €1.2 billion.[3] It is the first large-scale power plant built in Bulgaria in the last 20 years, and the single largest foreign investment in Bulgaria and one of the largest greenfield investments in South East Europe.[2][4] Installed capacity figures differ in various sources, the 2022 annual report of AES stated capacity at 690MW.[5]

The plant gets coal from Maritsa East Mines.[6] Funding was provided by a group of banks led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.[6]

The entire power output is contracted with the state«owned Natsionalna Elektricheska Kompania (NEK) under a 15-year PPA that expires in May 2026.[5]

Generation increased significantly in 2022.[7]

Coal Phase-out

In 2021, Bulgaria indicated that it may close all coal-fired power plants by 2025.[8]

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) approved in April 2022 referred to 2038 as the (non-binding) coal phase-out date. The NRPP included also targets for CO2 reduction until 2025, with 8% reduction by the end of 2022, 18% reduction by the end of 2023, 28% reduction by the end of 2024, and 40% by the end of 2025, versus 2019 levels. 2022 target was not achieved as coal-fired generation increased on the back of the war in Ukraine and the cut-off from Russian gas.[9][10]

In January 2023, Bulgarian Ministry of Energy published its Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development of the Energy Sector up to 2053. The document acknowledged that the drastic reduction of CO2 emissions from coal plants by 2025 stipulated in the 2022 NRRP was unrealistic, threatens national energy system stability and will be difficult to achieve in view of current high market prices. As a result, the strategy recommends the use of domestic coal resources by 2030 and their gradual reduction until decommissioning by 2038.[11][12]

As of June 2023, it is understood that an updated NRPP and a coal phase-out schedule may be renegotiated with the European Commission later in 2023.

Articles and Resources


  1. Vatahov, Ivan (2002-07-11). "AES granted licence". The Sofia Echo. Retrieved 2008-03-16. }
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Vatahov, Ivan (2006-06-26). "Bulgaria's reactor closure aftershocks". The Sofia Echo. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Coal-fired power plant enters service in Bulgaria". Power Engineering. PennWell Corporation. 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2011-06-04. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "powergen030611" defined multiple times with different content
  4. Kostadinov, Petar (2006-11-20). "Social policy projects for Bulgaria's Maritsa-Iztok". The Sofia Echo. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "AES 2022 Annual Report" (PDF). 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 "AES starts operation of its 600-megawatt power plant in Bulgaria" AP, June 3, 2011.
  7. "Bulgaria's AES Galabovo TPP posts peak output in 2022". June 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. "Bulgaria hints at possible closure of all coal-fired power plants by mid-2025". Balkan Green Energy News. 2021-08-02. Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  9. "Bulgaria rolls back plans to phase out coal amid fears over energy and job security". January 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. Center for the Study of Democracy (March 2023). "The Contours of Bulgaria's Climate Neutrality Roadmap" (PDF). {{cite web}}: line feed character in |title= at position 35 (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. "Bulgaria 2053 energy outlook: renewables, nuclear and storage". January 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. "Bulgaria's 2053 energy strategy: coal until 2030, new nuclear capacities". January 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.