A loan agreement for 226 million euro was signed on July 9 by the Ministry of Energy and Energy resources, the Ministry of Finance, and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
The loan is designed for the rehabilitation of generating units one to four of the Maritsa Iztok Two thermal power plant and the construction of a gas desulphurisation plants for units five and six.
The loan is repayable over 14 years with a four-year grace period and fixed annual interest of 1.49 per cent. It will be provided and repaid in euro, eliminating currency exchange risk. The provision of a government guarantee is subject to the condition that the Japanese invest an amount equal to 10 per cent of the guarantee, or 23 million euro.
According to Energy and Energy Resources Minister Milko Kovachev, the rehabilitation project will make it possible to use Bulgarian coal but prevent air pollution by applying environment-friendly technologies.
The project seeks to increase the capacity of the first four generating units of the power plant from 600 to 700 megawatts and extend the life of the power plant by 20 years, Kovachev said.
The feasibility study was conducted by Toshiba Corporation and Chubu Electric Power Company, and was paid by a grant from the JBIC.
Maritsa Iztok Two, which has eight units with a total capacity of 1450 megawatts, is located at the Maritsa Iztok lignite coal-mining complex in Southern Bulgaria and generates 30 per cent of the country's power. Maritsa Iztok Two is also the largest thermal power plant in the Balkans.
Japanese Ambassador to Sofia Yasuyoshi Ichihashi said the project is particularly important for the future of the Bulgarian energy sector and for the two countries in general.
According to Aya Mamazaki, Director at the JBIC, the contractors under the project will do their best to apply state-of-the art technologies.
With the signing of the loan agreement and the resolution of a dispute with the Competition Protection Commission on the size of the state guarantee, all barriers before the implementation of the project have been cleared.
In a related development on July 8, the cabinet adopted a letter of support for the construction of the desulphurisation facilities at Maritsa Iztok Two, which is funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The pollution-control installations will cost 66.6 million euro. The EU ISPA programme will grant 30 million euro, another European financial institution will lend another 30 million euro, and the plant will provide 6.6 million euro from its own funds.
Back in 2003, the Government decided that Maritsa Iztok Two would remain state property.
The plant has been operating for more than 35 years but its four oldest units need to be rehabilitated. This will be two to four times cheaper than to build new facilities with a similar capacity.
The narrow focus of many euro zone countries on fiscal austerity is deepening the jobs crisis and could even lead to another recession in Europe, said the Director of the ILO Institute for International Labour Studies and lead author of the report, Raymond Torres.
Yassen Lyubenov is the new head of marketing at Bulgarian beer brewer Kamenitza. Lyubenov has 12 years of experience in marketing in the fast-moving consumer goods sector and has started his career as assistant brand manager at Kraft Foods Bulgaria. He later became brand manager at Wrigley Bulgaria, with responsibilities for Bulgaria and Macedonia. Prior to joining Kamenitza, he was senior marketing manager at Wrigley Russia, where he was in charge of brand expansion into Ukraine, Belarus, Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Lyubenov has a bachelor's degree in international business administration from the University of Lincoln, UK.
Kamelia Lozanova has been appointed the executive director of the Employment Agency, a position she has held ad interim since September 2011, following the resignation of her predecessor Rossitsa Stelianova. Prior to that, Lozanova was the agency's deputy executive director in charge of international projects and European programmes. She has been with the agency for more than 20 years.
Lozanova has a degree in Slavonic philology from the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia.
Gloria Dimitrova has been appointed executive director and member of the managing board at Uniqa Life Insurance Bulgaria. Dimitrova began her career in 1998 at the insurance supervision directorate, but moved to the private sector and worked for professional services and insurance brokerage firm Marsh&McLennan and US insurer AIG, both in Bulgaria and the Middle East. She joined Uniqa as regional director for Sofia in 2010.
Dimitrova has a degree in economics from the University for National and World Economy in Sofia and a master's degree in insurance from the Business Academy in Svishtov.
Bedros Kalfayan, general manager of skin care and cosmetics company Beiersdorf Bulgaria, will oversee the parent's company units in Romania and Moldova starting April 1. Following company restructuring, Beiersdorf's subsidiaries in the three countries were merged and are now one unit, part of Beiersdorf Central and Eastern Europe. Kalfayan joined Beiersdorf in 2007 as sales manager and was promoted to general manager in 2008. Prior to that, he worked for Axxon Bulgaria, Ferrero and Rubella.
Kalfayan has a master's degree in industrial management from the Technical University in Sofia.
Sasha Bezuhanova has been appointed Hewlett-Packard public sector director for emerging markets, where she will oversee HP public sector activities in 63 countries, including Bulgaria. Bezuhanova will also be in charge of HP's relations with the European Union. Bezuhanova has been HP's public sector director for Central and Eastern Europe since 2008; before that she was general manager of HP Bulgaria since 1998.
Bezuhanova has a master's degree in electronics from the Technical University in Sofia and has completed a managment programme at INSEAD.
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