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24.04.2017 16:36
Bulgarian Prosecution Raids Energy Watchdog on Malfeasance Accusations
Bulgarian watchdog faces allegations of premeditated neglect of controlling functions which could have led to higher gas prices and possible EC sanctions for state-run companies

  • Entrance sign at the Bulgarian energy watchdog

The Office of Bulgaria’s Prosecutor General announced on Monday it has raided the headquarters of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) on suspicion on malfeasance. An investigation will be launched today, aiming to find out whether the energy watchdog fulfilled its lawful duties of controlling natural gas distribution companies regarding investments pledged in their business plans. The prosecution said it will also look into a merger of companies in Sofiagas, later renamed to Overgas Mrezhi. There are suspicions that the EWRC helped keep natural gas prices at artificially high levels.

The prosecution will also investigate a claim by privately held gas supplier Overgas Inc that state-run gas transport grid operator refused it access to the grid and Bulgaria’s sole underground gas storage at Chiren. The prosecution considers that the energy watchdog did not react accordingly which could have contributed to the launch of an infringement procedure by the European Commission against state-owned Bulgartransgaz and Bulgargaz.

Mr. Sasho Donchev, CEO of Overgas, came under scrutiny last week, when he alleged Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov pressured him to abandon support for the political formation 'Yes,Bulgaria' ('Da, Bulgaria')

Last but not least, with the help of the National Security the prosecution said it will look into the latest pricing decisions of the EWRC regarding natural gas, district heating, and water, the latter only in Sofia. Bulgaria's National Security Agency has already seized paperwork from the EWRC.

TAGS: Bulgaria | energy | prosecution | investigation | national security | EWRC | gas | natural gas | Overgas 

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20.03.2022  Teodor Bobochikov, Managing Partner, V-Ridium
Energy Transformation – Trends and drivers
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