Bulgaria joins WB6 regional electricity market integration initiative – all neighbouring EU countries are now on board! 18 May 2017

The Bulgarian national regulatory authority (Energy and Water Regulatory Commission), the Bulgarian transmission system operator (Electricity System Operator EAD) and the Bulgarian power exchange (Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange EAD) have formally declared their willingness to actively participate in the WB6 regional electricity market integration initiative. The new signatories of the WB6 Memorandum of Understanding will join the Programme Steering Committee on day-ahead market integration, whose task is to address all measures and steps needed for going-live of functioning day-ahead markets in and between the signatory countries.

Since its signature by representatives of the Western Balkans 6 Energy Community Contracting Parties in April 2016, the Memorandum of Understanding has played a key role in developing a regional electricity market. The initiative has placed great importance on including stakeholders from EU Member States that neighbour the WB6 countries. Under the Secretariat’s coordination function, stakeholders from all six neighbouring EU countries have now joined the initiative. 

Director of the Energy Community Secretariat, Mr Janez Kopač, said: “Only a concerted approach to market coupling in South East Europe will bring the liquidity needed to support competition and efficiency in the market, thus maximizing benefits for energy consumers. Drawing artificial boundaries in an already interconnected area stands against the spirit of the Energy Community and the Energy Union. We are very grateful for the cooperation of our EU partners and sincerely welcome the newest signatories on board. Their participation is key to establishing a truly integrated trading region in South East Europe”. 

The Chairman of the Bulgarian national regulatory authority, Mr Ivan Ivanov, said: “The Energy and Water Regulatory Commission appreciates joining this initiative as an important step in the development of the regional electricity market and, in particular, in the regional day-ahead market coupling between the Energy Community Contracting Parties and the neighbouring Member States. Thus, together with the neighbouring EU countries we contribute to the development of the electricity market in South East Europe and in particular in the Western Balkan countries in order to achieve the strategic objective – creating a competitive, efficient and integrated European energy market.” 

The CEO of the Independent Bulgarian energy exchange (IBEX), Mr Konstantin Konstantinov, said: “We are very enthusiastic in joining the initiative, realizing that this is the only way to actively support and accomplish the regional integration process in a timely and effective manner. Additionally, we are very grateful and appreciate very much the indispensable leadership of the Energy Community in this process, declaring that we will do our best in contributing to all the impending decisions and processes that all the parties should go through in the next months.” 

According to the official statement of the Bulgarian Electricity System Operator: “The signature of WB6 MoU and the support of neighbouring EU countries will strengthen the cooperation in planning, system operation and market development in South East Europe and will foster competition and efficient cross-border trade in the region. We appreciate this initiative and the willingness of all involved parties to cooperate and speed up the processes of market coupling in SEE region, especially after the significant steps towards market integration on EU level.”

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