Thursday morning started with a business conference attended by senior officials from the Bulgarian and US governments. In the last couple of weeks, Bulgaria has been in discussions with American LNG delivery companies, seeking Transatlantic support after Russia cut off its gas supplies.
On another note, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development Grozdan Karadzhov once again met representatives from the transport industry, discussing toll taxes and threats of strikes.
Unemployment rate down 22% in Q1 2022
In the first quarter of the year, the number of unemployed people in Bulgaria was 158.7 thousand - down 22.2 percent compared to last year, according to the National Statistical Institute (NSI). On an annual basis the unemployment rate decreased by 1.4 percentage points and reached 4.9 percent. Thirty seven per cent of those registered as unemployed have not completed their secondary education, according to labor agency calculations.
Senior US diplomat for Europe and Eurasia meets Bulgarian business and government officials
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried made an appearance at the conference "Sustainability of the Transatlantic Relationship Between Bulgaria and the USA," organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria. Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and senior government officials, including Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov, were guests at the meeting which saw the biggest American enterprises in Bulgaria discussing bilateral relations in terms of business. Among the topics were the position of Bulgaria in the regional market, electricity deliveries from Ukraine and reducing natural gas dependency from Russia.
US firm KKR announces purchase of Maritza-Iztok 3 owner ContourGlobal for 2 bln. euro
The second biggest coal plant in Bulgaria ContourGlobal Maritza-Iztok 3, part of the largest energy complex in the Southeast of Europe Maritza-Iztok, will have a new owner by the end of this year. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), a US-based investment company specializing in infrastructure, is purchasing the energy enterprise as part of its plan to enter the energy sector and participate in the energy transition to net zero. Maritza-Iztok 3 is the second largest coal plant in Bulgaria and has an installed capacity of 908 megawatts, which also makes it the largest energy asset of ContourGlobal.