In Rumänien wird demonstriert, in Bulgarien streiken die Minen Arbeiter

Posted on Januar 18, 2012 von

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In Rumänien:

Miners strike in Bulgaria continues

Wed, Jan 18 2012 13:36 CET

byThe Sofia Echo staff

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Miners strike in Bulgaria continues
Photo: Georgi Kozhouharov
The first three days of the miners strike in the state-owned Mini Maritsa Iztok has cost the company four million leva, the company’s chief executive Evgeni Stoikov told Bulgarian news agency BTA on January 18.The miners went on strike at 8pm on January 15; of 2960 miners scheduled for the day shift on January 18, about 2300 had joined the strike, he said.The striking miners are demanding that each of the 7100 employees of Mini Maritsa Iztok receive a 1000 leva bonus for the company’s record coal output in 2011, as well as better working conditions and equipment. Miners plan to rally at the company’s headquarters in Radnevo on January 20 if their demands are not granted by then.

Mini Maritsa Iztok is the main source of coal for three thermal power plants in central Bulgaria, which are among the largest in the country: state-owned Maritsa Iztok 2 with 1556MW installed power, 840MW Maritsa Iztok 3 (which New York-based Contour Global recently acquired from Italy’s Enel), and 670MW AES Gulubovo, owned by US firm AES.

Each of those power plants has enough coal reserves to operate at full capacity between two and three weeks, the head of Bulgaria’s State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission, Angel Semerdjiev, said.

Should the strike go on for more than a week, it would result in an increase in electricity prices, he said. A month-long stoppage could result in a price hike of at least 10 per cent starting July.

If the three power plants in central Bulgaria are forced to shut down, Bulgaria can fire up mothballed coal-powered plants in Bobov Dol and Varna to make up for the shortfall, but these power plants produce electricity at a higher cost than the Maritsa Iztok plants, thus the increase in electricity prices, Semerdjiev said.

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