Mednikarovo, May 19, 2009 - Enel and its Bulgarian partner NEK celebrated today the successful completion of the rehabilitation and modernization of Enel Maritza East 3 Thermal Power Plant.
The rehabilitation and modernization of Enel Maritza East 3 TPP is the first major energy sector investment project financed without state guarantees in South East Europe. It brought the 28-year-old Enel Maritza East 3 TPP to become the only lignite power plant in the Balkans fully compliant with the latest EU environmental standards.
As a result from the plants modernization, the total capacity of the TPP has been increased from the previous 840 MW to the current 908 MW and its operational life has been extended by 15 years.
Bulgarias Minister of Economy and Energy Petar Dimitrov, Enels Chairman Piero Gnudi, the Head of Enels International Division Carlo Tamburi, the Head of Enels Engineering and Innovation Livio Vido and the Italian Ambassador to Bugaria Stefano Benazzo attended the event. Among the other high-ranking guests were also Enels Manager for Bulgaria and Enel Maritza East 3 CEO, John Clark, Stara Zagora regional governor, Maria Neykova, NEK Executive Director, Mardik Papazyan, and the Maritza East Mines CEO, Ivan Markov.
Piero Gnudi, Chairman of Enel Group, commented: Today indeed is a significant day since it marks the successful completion of one of the largest investments in the energy sector in South Eastern Europe and fully financed without state guarantees. Thanks to our joint efforts with NEK, the Enel Maritza East 3 TPP is now the only lignite power plant in the Balkans fully compliant with the latest EU environmental standards. The completion of this project is a major step ahead towards the introduction of cleaner coal energy generation in Bulgaria, a remarkable move on the path to sustainable development.
The project for modernization and rehabilitation of Enel Maritza East 3 TPP was officially completed in February, 2009 when unit 4, the last to be modernized, was synchronized to the Bulgarian national energy grid more than one month in advance of the schedule.
In this project Enel invested more than 700 million euros of which 160 million euros went for environmental improvements, including: construction of two FGDs (flue gas desulfurization systems) serving all four rehabilitated and modernized units of Enel Maritza East 3 TPP and reducing by over 94% the SO2 emissions from the plants operation; introduction of a comprehensive water management system resulting in over 50% reduction of the fresh water consumption; building of the only two waste water purification installations in the region of Stara Zagora; and introduction of a new system capturing over 99.8% of the dust from the boiler process.