Just transition in Bulgaria – mission possible for Maritsa Iztok energy complex?
Photo: Alexander Ivanov
Briefing | 23 November 2018
Reflecting the European trend for phasing out highly polluting fuels like coal, this preliminary analysis outlines options for a just energy transition in the broad region surrounding the heart of Bulgarian coal energy – Maritsa Iztok energy complex in Stara Zagora region, which generates 30 % of the electricity used in Bulgaria.
Maritza Iztok energy complex (MIEC) includes three lignite pit mines (Maritza Iztok Mines), four coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) that generate electricity, a briquette production factory, as well as the production, warehouse, logistics, etc. facilities of dozens of businesses related to the mining and power plant operations.
Over 400 000 people live in the broader Stara Zagora region; about 12 000 people are directly employed by the mines and the coal-fired power plants in MIEC. The region boasts economic growth and low unemployment, however, outside MIEC, military and processing industry, salaries are generally low (ca. 300 euro per month).