Bulgaria and coal

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This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Bulgaria and coal.
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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) notes that coal mining in Bulgaria continues to decline but that, in 2005, coal accounted for approximately 45% of the fuel for electricity generation sector. It also noted that coal-fired power generation was set to expand following the decision of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development to fund the construction of a new 600 megawatt lignite fired power station as a substitute for the electricity supplied from the Kozloduy nuclear power station which is slated for closure.[1] The USGS reports that in 2005 a total of 44.9 million tonnes of coal was produced in Bulgaria, of which 22.193 million tonnes was lignite.[2]

Coal Mining Operations

The USGS lists operating coal mines as being[1]:

  • the Economic Mining and Power Combine (SMEK) operates the Balkanbass bituminous coal mine in the Balkan coal basin in central Bulgaria; in 2005 the mine had an annual operating capacity of 445,000 tonnes.
  • G. Dimitrov operates a brown coal mine in the Pernik coal basin, southwest of Sofia, which in 2005 had an annual operating capacity of 4 million tonnes;
  • the USGS also notes that there are other brown coal mines operating at Bobov Dol and Pirin in western Bulgaria which between them in 2005 had an annual capacity of 3.1 million tonnes;
  • SMEK also operates a lignite mine at in the East Maritsa coal basin near Zagora; in 2005 the mine had an annual capacity of 25 million tonnes;
  • The USGS also notes that there are other lignite mines operating in the Marbas, Pernik, and Bobov Dol coal basins and in 2005 had an annual operating capacity of 5.3 million tonnes.

Coal mine strike halts exports

A coal mine strike in January 2012 halted electricity exports to neighboring Balkan countries. Bulgaria exports nearly 850 megawatts of electricity per hour to Greece, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia and Turkey. The country exported 10.5 billion kilowatt hours (KWh) in 2011. The mines supply the biggest state thermal power plant, Maritsa East Power Station, as well as plants controlled by U.S.-based power provider AES and ContourGlobal and the private Bulgarian Brikel plant, all in southeastern Bulgaria.[3]

Proposed Coal-Fired Power Stations

Coal-fired power stations financed by international public investment institutions

Coal-fired power stations financed by international public investment institutions include:[4]

Operating Coal-Fired Power Stations

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Walter G. Steblez, The Mineral Industries of The Northern Balkans: Bulgaria and Romania, 2005 Minerals Yearbook, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, December 2007, page 11.
  2. Walter G. Steblez, The Mineral Industries of The Northern Balkans: Bulgaria and Romania, 2005 Minerals Yearbook, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, December 2007, page 10.
  3. "Bulgaria halts power exports on coal mine strike" Reuters, January 20, 2012.
  4. "Coal Fired Plants Financed by International Public Investment Institutions since 1994", Appendix A in Foreclosing the Future: Coal, Climate and International Public Finance: Investment in coal-fired power plants hinders the fight against global warming, Environmental Defense, April 2009.

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