Brikel power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Brikel power station is a 250-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.


The undated satellite photo below shows the power station about 5 km far of Galabovo village.

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BRIKEL EAD power station incorporates the old TPP Maritza East 1 and the Briquette factory. TPP Maritza East 1 is the first thermal power plant of the Maritsa Iztok Complex. The six 50 MW units were built in 1959-1962.[1]

In 2011, Brikel resumed operations after installing desulphurization installations at four of its six units in compliance with the EU’s environmental requirements. It was reported that the plant had been operating three of its six units units, with the fourth unit in reserve, and operating at a capacity of 70 megawatts of its maximum capacity of 100 megawatts (the two 50 MW working units).[2]

When the license of Brickel JSC expired in 2011, the Ministry of Economy and Energy expanded it for another 10 years.[3]

The company retired unit 6 in 2012. Unit 4 is on standby, and unit 5 has been deactivated, but they are not officially retired.[1] Brikel EAD has tried to put the three units back online, but the Bulgarian Executive Environment Agency denied a permit for them in 2015. The Agency's decision was upheld by the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria in March 2018, which said that the plant had systematically failed to comply with environmental laws. The court noted breaches of the current permit including violations of air quality standards and the lack of a landfill site for waste generated by the plant.[4]

In August 2018, environmental lawyers challenged an assessment by the regional environment authority of Stara Zagora that the plant owners could also burn petrochemicals, biomass, and waste at the plant without the usual Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), because there was "no likely environmental harm".[5]

In July 2022, the Prime Minister and Environment Minister of Bulgaria toured the plant and found "mind-boggling violations". This was after years of local residents complaining about pollution and the accumulation of black dust associated with the operation. The plant was ordered to shut down. However, a court suspended the order in a final resolution, and the plant was permitted to continue operating.[6]

Plant Details

  • Sponsor: Brikel EAD
  • Parent company:
  • Developer:
  • Location: Obruchiste, Galabovo, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
  • Coordinates: 42.154555, 25.906814 (exact)
  • Status: Operating (Units 1-5), Retired (Unit 6)
  • Capacity: 300 MW (Units 1-6: 50 MW each)
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Start date: 1959-1962
  • Retired date: 2012 (Unit 6)
  • Coal Type: Lignite
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

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