Maritsa Iztok Complex

From Global Energy Monitor

Maritsa Iztok Complex (Iztok means East in Bulgarian) is the largest energy complex in South Eastern Europe. It consist of the Maritsa Iztok-1 Power Station, Maritsa Iztok-2 Power Station, Maritsa Iztok-3 Power Station, and the proposed Maritsa Iztok-4 Power Station in Bulgaria.


The map below shows Maritsa Iztok-1 in Stara Zagora Province.

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The map below shows Maritsa Iztok-2 in Stara Zagora Province.

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The map below shows Maritsa Iztok-3 in Stara Zagora Province.

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The power complex is located in Stara Zagora Province, south-central Bulgaria. It consists of three lignite-fired thermal power stations. It is located in a large lignite coal basin, which includes several mines, enrichment plants, a briquette plant and its own railway system.

The development of the thermal power and mining complex at Maritsa Iztok began in 1952, but the lignite deposits used to be known well in the mid 19 century. The Maritsa Iztok mines and power plants are interdependent as the only market for coal is the power plants, while the power plants have no other supplier of coal but the mines.[1]

Maritsa Iztok-1 (TPS AES Galabovo)

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.[2] In June 2006, AES started construction of the new 670 MW power station.[3] It became operational on 3 June 2011.[4] The new power station consists of two pulverised coal boilers of 335 MW each, two steam turbines, two generators and desulphurisation facilities.[3] The plant was constructed by Alstom.[3] It cost €1.2 billion.[4] 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 green field investments in South East Europe.[3][5] The plant will get its coal through a 15-year lignite supply agreement with the state-owned mining company, Maritsa East Mines, and a 15-year power purchase agreement with Bulgaria’s state-owned electricity monopoly, NEC. Funding was provided by a group of banks led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.[6]

Maritsa Iztok-2

Maritsa Iztok-2 is the largest thermal power plant in the Balkans.[7] It is located 60 km from Stara Zagora in the vicinity of the village of Radetski and the dam lake Ovcharitsa. The construction of Maritsa Iztok-2 started on 7 May 1962; it was inaugurated on 10 November 1966. Between 1979 and 1995 the power station was expanded by four additional units. Maritsa Iztok-2 has a total installed capacity of 1,465 MW and generates 30% of Bulgaria's electricity. It consists of eight generating units, two of which are equipped with flue gas desulphurization plants. The rehabilitation of the older power units, including construction of FGD plants for units 1 to 6, are in progress.[8]

Maritsa Iztok-2 is wholly state-owned. It is a subsidiary of Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH).[9][10]

Maritsa Iztok-3

Maritsa Iztok-3 is Bulgaria’s third-largest power plant. It is located 40 km from Stara Zagora. The power plant has an installed capacity of 900 MW, which is produced by four units of each 225 MW. It has a 325 m tall chimney.[11]

In 1998, the United States power utility Entergy purchased 73% of Maritsa Iztok-3 shares for US$375 million from the Bulgarian state. Entergy also has the obligation to modernize the power station.[12] In 2002, the Italian power company Enel joined the project; in 2006 Enel acquired Entergy's stake.[3][13] Until 2011, Maritsa Iztok-3 was owned and operated by Energiina Kompaniya Maritsa Iztok 3 AD, a joint venture of Enel (73%) and NEK (27%).[14] In 2011, Enel sold its majority share to Contour Global, a U.S. investment fund.[15]

Proposed coal plants

Maritsa Iztok-2 Units 9 and 10

In November 2012, Bulgarian Energy Holding announced that it was making plans to two new units at the Maritsa Iztok-2 station, and seeking a strategic investor, with whom costs and revenues would be split on a percentage ownership basis. Each new unit would be 280 MW.[16]

New unit proposed at Maritsa Iztok-3

Enel planned invest in a new 700 MW coal-fired power plant next to the existing Maritsa Iztok-3 plant, with coal supplied from the Maritsa Iztok coal basin in Southern Bulgaria. The new power plant was expected to cost €900 million.[3][17]

In 2011 US energy company ContourGlobal became the new owner of Bulgaria's coal-fired power plant Enel Maritsa East 3, renaming it ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3. Enel said the power station was not in line with the development strategy of the group, suspending its proposed new unit.[18]

Maritsa Iztok-4

In addition to Enel's new power station project at at Maritsa Iztok-3, the construction of a new 600 MW power station is proposed by the German utility RWE: Maritsa Iztok-4. RWE and the Maritsa Iztok mining complex signed an agreement on setting up a joint company that will apply for construction of the power station. RWE expects the investment to be €900 million to €1 billion, and the power station to be ready by 2013.[19]

There has been no news or progress on the project since 2007, and it appears to have been cancelled.

Resources and articles


  1. Velinova, Sia (2007-06-08). "Bulgaria Maritsa Iztok Picks Favourite". SeeNews. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  2. Vatahov, Ivan (2002-07-11). "AES granted licence". The Sofia Echo. Retrieved 2008-03-16. }
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Vatahov, Ivan (2006-06-26). "Bulgaria's reactor closure aftershocks". The Sofia Echo. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Coal-fired power plant enters service in Bulgaria". Power Engineering. PennWell Corporation. 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
  5. Kostadinov, Petar (2006-11-20). "Social policy projects for Bulgaria's Maritsa-Iztok". The Sofia Echo. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  6. "AES starts operation of its 600-megawatt power plant in Bulgaria" AP, June 3, 2011.
  7. "Maritsa Iztok 2 financing secured". The Sofia Echo. 2004-07-15. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  8. "Clash on Maritsa Iztok 2". The Sofia Echo. 2005-04-10. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  9. "Bulgaria Consolidates Five Energy Companies into Holding". Sofia News Agency. 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
  10. "Bulgaria announces birth of energy giant with new holding company". Power Engineering. PennWell Corporation. 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
  11. Jansson, Eric (2003-04-28). "Infrastructure: Veteran creditors seek partnerships". Financial Times. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  12. "Entergy is buying two-thirds stkae in Bulgarian utility". The New York Times. 1998-10-15. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  13. "Maritsa Iztok 3 launched". The Sofia Echo. 2003-04-17. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  14. "New Power Plant Proposed in Bulgaria". The Sofia Echo. 2006-08-28. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  15. "Enel Wraps Up Sale of Bulgaria Plant Stake,", June 28, 2011
  16. "Bulgaria's Maritsa Iztok 2 Thermal Power Plant to Get 2 New Units," Sofia News Agency November 16, 2012
  17. "Italy's Enel Ready to Quickly Build New Power Plant in Bulgaria". Sofia News Agency. 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  18. "Enel Maritsa East 3 to be renamed ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3," The Sofia Echo, Sep 14, 2011.
  19. Velinova, Sia (2007-06-08). "Bulgaria Maritsa Iztok Picks Favourite". SeeNews. Retrieved 2008-03-16.

External Articles

Related articles

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