Waste-to-energy plant in Sofia receives close to 94-million-euro in EC support
The measure will help Bulgaria achieve its energy-efficiency targets and will contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions
- November 26, 2019 13:00
- Plamen Petrov
The completion of the eagerly anticipated cogeneration plant in Sofia which would use unrecyclable municipal waste to produce heat and electricity, now seems near following the European Commission approval of Bulgaria’s plans to support its construction and operation.
The support, announced yesterday, will consist of two distinct measures: a direct grant of approximately €90.8 million (around 177.6 million BGN) financed by EU Structural Funds managed by Bulgaria; and a loan granted by the Sofia municipality to Toplofikacia EAD at a preferential rate, amounting to approximately € 3 million (around 5.8 million BGN).
The Commission found that the support measure complies with EU State aid rules and meets the criteria of both the Waste Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive. The combined production of heat and electricity by the new plant will enable a primary energy saving of 46.5% compared to a scenario in which heat and electricity would be produced separately.
“The support measure will help Bulgaria achieve its energy-efficiency targets and will contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in line with the EU environmental objectives, without unduly distorting competition,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition, quoted by the EC press service.
What the plant will do
The construction and operation of the high-efficient cogeneration plant is the third phase of a long-standing environmental project financed through EU structural funds (ESIF/ERDF) aimed at improving waste treatment in the Sofia Region of Bulgaria.
The first phase, which was completed in 2014, involved the construction of a new landfill, a new anaerobic digestion with energy production and composting installation and other minor project components. The second phase, completed in 2015, included the improvement of recycling and the establishment of a mechanical biological treatment facility producing unrecyclable municipal waste as a main product, as well as secondary materials for recycling.
Upon completion the plant will produce approximately 55 megawatts (MW) of heat and 19 MW of electricity. Around 180 000 tonnes per year of unrecyclable municipal waste will be used to fuel the plant. The installation set up by Toplofikacia EAD, a wholly owned Sofia municipality company will be connected to the Sofia district heating network. The construction will be finalised by the end of 2023.
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