On Wednesday one door for the delivery of natural gas to Bulgaria opened more widely just as another shut. The company building the The Greece-Bulgaria interconnector announced that it is now successfully connected to the Bulgarian gas transmission network. The interconnector is key to diversifying natural gas supplies in Bulgaria. When it enters commercial operation, it will allow Bulgaria to deliver the full volumes under the gas contract with Azerbaijan and will enable gas to be supplied from the liquefied natural gas terminals in Greece.
Several hours later energy minister Rossen Hristov announced that the US company Shenyer has withdrawn its offer to supply seven LNG tankers to Bulgaria this winter. In early August, former Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov said the offer for the delivery of the seven LNG tankers was "binding" and the caretaker government should confirm it by August 19. This means that Bulgaria decides whether to accept it or not, but the seller has a commitment to make the delivery.
Caretaker gov't reshuffles leadership in the arms industry
The State Consolidation Company (SCC) announced major changes in the management of the largest state arms companies. SCC also stops the process of replacing the executive director of the Scientific Research Technological Institute (SRTI) - Kazanlak Delyan Nachev. The procedure for his removal was launched on the last day of the government of Kiril Petkov in which Kornelia Ninova was Economy Minister
The management of the arms companies and the SCC have been reshuffled several times in recent weeks. The layoffs were initiated by Ninova. One of the people she dismissed was Nikola Stoyanov. He was later appointed by Rumen Radev as caretaker minister of economy in place of Ninova.
Labor market keeps improving
According to Q2 statistics the number of those employed in Bulgaria's economy is rising while the unemployment rate is falling. Employment in the country reached 3.121 million people, which marks a year on year increase of 1.9%. Two thirds of the employees are in the service sector, almost one third - in industry. Fewer than 7% are employed in agriculture. The unemployment rate also continued to fall, plummeting to 4.7%. However, neither the employment nor unemployment rates have yet recovered the promising values they had in 2019 before the start of the Covid pandemic.
Court allows the Brickel TPP to keep polluting
The Brickel Thermal Power Plant (TPP), which is tied to the businessman Hristo Kovatchky, will continue to operate until the court finally decides on the merits of the dispute between the state and the plant: whether the enterprise violates environmental standards and pollutes the environment excessively.
The Supreme Administrative Court has now ruled that pollution is not the key issue for society, but that it is much more important to keep the TPP running. According to the magistrates, it is critically important that Brickel, which produces only 1% of the country's electricity, keep working despite the fact that it jeopardizes the health of the thousands of people living in the region.
TPP "Brickel" has been polluting the air in Galabovo for years with impunity. Authorities in the Petkov cabinet started the process of shutting down the plant in late July.