Belene Nuclear Power Plant Project in Bulgaria

The project has been in preparation for more than a decade but it was abandoned by a resolution of the Bulgarian Parliament in2012. In 2016 the National Electricity Company (NEC) lost an international arbitration and was forced to pay more than EUR 600 million to Atomstroyexport for the two 1,000 MW nuclear units ordered for the project. The amount was paid by NEC by way of a loan granted by the Government and cleared under state aid rules by the European Commission. The nuclear units have been delivered to the project site and in order to minimize the losses, the Government is actively looking for options either to restart the project or to sell the units. The Bulgarian Parliament recently voted a decision requesting from the Government to take a final stand on the future of the project by the end of June 2018. Different options are evaluated at the moment including the restarting of the project with participation as a sponsor by the state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation (which reportedly expressed interest in investing in the project in February 2018), as well as developing the project as a “Balkan-wide” project with investment participation by various countries from the region. Financing from EIB is also being mulled over. Expectations are that the Government will re-start the project in the near future which will trigger demand for legal services in various aspects – corporate, project financing, building, etc.

LNG Terminal on Krk Island, Croatia

There are new developments with the LNG Terminal project on the Croatian Krk Island. The project concernsdegasifying and reloading LNG and is to be developed as a floating terminal.

The total value is EUR 360 million and is being financed by (i) EU funds (EUR 103 million already approved) and (ii) private investment (investors and banks; estimated 75 percent).

The bidding phase for the Open season procedure has been extended and the announcement for the submission of bids is 19 March. Applicants are invited to take part in the Open Season procedure that will allow shippers to bid for capacity at the entry point into transmission system (Omišalj) and Drávaszerdahely interconnection point in the direction from Croatia to Hungary.

More information at: and

Hydro Power Plants in Kosovo

Based on the Energy Strategy, the Kosovo Government policy is to develop small Hydro Power Plants with private investments by granting concession on the right to use the water for power generation.

HPP Zhuris projected to be constructed in the area of Prizren and Dragash/Sharr municipalities. The available gross heads of a maximum of some 683.5 m and a minimum of some 643 m are used at two power plants – the HPP Zhur I close to Zhur village and the HPP Zhur II on the Drini i Bardhë River. All waters harnessed empty into the Drini i Bardhë River.

Other Power Projects:

· Gasification Project in Kosovo: theProjectis said to bring underground coal gasification (UCG) to Kosovo;

· New Power Plant: the construction capacities of “Kosova e Re” are envisaged to be 2X300MW.

Development of Solar Power Projects in Albania

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Albanian Ministry of Energy and Industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop the regulatory framework for solar power and the subsequent development of solar power projects. The EBRD is now proceeding to provide assistance to the Government of Albania through engaging a consultant to provide support in: i) drafting the secondary legislation and regulatory framework for the competitive procurement of solar PV projects in Albania, and ii) assisting in the implementation of a competitive bidding process to procure 50-100 MW solar PV capacity in Albania. The assignment is expected to start in second quarter of 2018 and has an estimated overall duration of 24 months. The estimated cost for the assignment is EUR 950,000.

Albania: The Ministry of Energy and Industry declares 14 mining areas for expression of interest from interested companies

July 14, 2017

The Ministry of Energy and Industry has declared 14 other mining areas for expression of interest from interested companies. Interested businesses to submit bids by the end of June for each mining area. It is noted that chrome is the mineral that prevails for the most part.

Turkey: Public invitation for participation in a tender for the transfer of operational rights of the Kepez, Yenice, Kesikköprü, Derbent, Çamlıgöze, Seyan 1, Seyhan 2, Yüreğir and Çamlıca 1 Hydroelectric Power Plants

July 14, 2017

Directorate of Privatization Administration (“Privatization Administration”) has announced the public invitation for participation in a tender for the transfer of operational rights of the Kepez, Yenice, Kesikköprü, Derbent, Çamlıgöze, Seyan 1, Seyhan 2, Yüreğir and Çamlıca 1 Hydroelectric Power Plants (each an “HPP). Targets are currently owned by the Electricity Generation Company (“EÜAŞ”) and located in various cities in Turkey. The total power capacities of these HPP’s are 482 MW.
According to the Privatization Administration’s announcement, the offers were submitted by 8 different companies for the Yenice HPP, with 38 MW power. The companies are Nokta Yatırım Holding A.Ş., Demars İnşaat Turizm Ticaret Ltd. Şti., Kemal Can, Enerji Petrol Ürünleri Pazarlama A.Ş., Enerji Madeni Yağlar Üretim ve Pazarlama AŞ, Altek Alarko Elektrik Santralleri Tesis İşletme ve Ticaret A.Ş., Kılıç Enerji Üretim A.Ş., Fernas İnşaat A.Ş., Bükor Elektrik Üretim A.Ş. and İş-Kaya İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.

Bulgaria, Mechel International Holdings AG, Switzerland (MIH) has announced the sale of 49% of the shares of Toplofikatziya Ruse AD

January 17, 2017

Mechel International Holdings AG, Switzerland (MIH) has announced the sale of 49% of the shares of Toplofikatziya Ruse AD (the District Heating Company of Ruse – DHC Ruse). MIH is the former owner of 100% of the shares of DHC Ruse and it sold its interest in the company to a local buyer in 2012. The payment of a part of the purchase price was to be paid in installments and the buyer also took the obligation to settle some debts of DHC Ruse for coal deliveries to a company of the Mechel group. The shares of DHC Ruse were pledged in favor of MIH as a security for those obligations of the buyer. It seems the buyer is in default and MIH has started enforcement procedures under the share pledge and is collecting offers for the purchase of a package of 49% of the shares of DGC Ruse. The provisional deadline for collecting bids is end of January 2017.

DHC Ruse is supplying the town of Ruse (the biggest Bulgarian town on the Danube river, population about 150,000) with district heating services and has also electricity generation capacities with total electrical output of 400 MW (combined heat and power generation as well as electricity only generation facilities).

Sale of OMV Petrol Ofisi’s shares, Turkey

January 13, 2017

OMV Aktiengesellschaft, one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies ("OMV"), has announced the sale of 100% of its wholly owned subsidiary OMV Petrol Ofisi Holding Anonim Şirketi (the “Target"), a leading company in the Turkish oil products retail and wholesale market. The Target is a leading player in the Turkish fuel distribution industry with more than 1,700 fuel stations in Turkey and a leading fuels supplier to commercial and industrial customers. The Target owns the largest fuel storage and logistics business in Turkey with a total storage capacity in excess of 1 million cubic meters. It is also the largest distributor of lubricants in Turkey.

The value of the Transaction is not publicly disclosed. Previously, OMV acquired the Target’s shares for more than USD 2.5 billion from Doğan Şirketler Grubu Holding A.Ş., a Turkish group with wide-ranging interests in media, energy and real estate.

Opet Petrolcülük A.Ş., a joint venture of Koç Holding A.Ş., Turkey’s biggest business group, Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), Vitol S.A., Rafigura Group Pte., the State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and private equity firms are also among the bidders.

On 10 October 2016, OMV has announced the sale of the Aliağa fuel storage terminal, to a group led by SOCAR. The terminal operates approximately 200,000 cbm of fuel storage capacity and houses LPG storage facilities with 45,000 cbm capacity. The value of the sale of the Aliağa terminal is not announced. OMV has further announced that the sale of the Aliağa Terminal has no impact on the Transaction.

Available Onshore and Offshore Areas for Petroleum Operation in Albania

Free Blocks: The Albanian Ministry of Energy and Industry, acting by and through the Agjensia Kombetare e Burimeve Natyrore (AKBN), has announced the opening of available onshore and offshore areas for petroleum operation. The Ministry of Energy and Industry and AKBN invites interested parties for applications in areas subject of the opening. In accordance with the Petroleum Law, No. 7746 of 28.07.1993, which authorises the Ministry to enter into a Production Sharing Contract, for exploration, development and production of oil & gas in the territory of Albania, the Ministry of Energy and Industry has announced the opening of the procedures for applications for the available areas for exploration. The deadline for Onshore Block PANAJA and Block 5 is 30 October 2016. For more information, please visit:

Oltchim S.A. Launched an Asset Sale Auction Process

Oltchim S.A., the largest producer of chemical goods in Romania and a major producer in Central and Eastern Europe, has launched an asset sale auction process for all or parts of its assets grouped in bundles. Representatives state that multiple asset bundles are for sale and interested parties are invited to bid for any, some or all of the asset packages. The selection of the buyer(s) will be based on the economic value of the offer(s). Parties interested in bidding for Oltchim’s assets are invited to submit a letter with Expression of Interest by 30 September 2016. Please click here to access the invite.

To note that, after various privatisation tentative, Oltchim is under insolvency procedure since 2013 and is managed by its Administrators BDO Business Restructuring and Rominsolv. After filing for insolvency, the Company agreed a 36-month reorganisation plan. According to market commentators, in 2015 Oltchim exceeded its forecasts by registering EUR 170.2 million revenues and EUR 17.7 million (10.4%) adjusted EBITDA.

Tender for Transfer of Operational Rights of Several Turkish HPPs

The Directorate of Privatisation Administration has announced the public invitation for participation in a tender for the transfer of operational rights of the (i) Menzelet and Kılavuzlu Hydroelectric Power Plants (each an “HPP”), (ii) Almus and Köklüce HPPs and (iii) Çamlıca I HPP. Targets are currently owned by the Electricity Generation Company (“EÜAŞ”) and located in Kahramanmaraş, Tokat and Kayseri respectively. The power capacities of these HPPs vary between 27-124 MW.

According to the Privatisation Administration’s announcement, the offers are submitted by six different companies for the Çamlıca I HPP on 19 August 2016. The final dates to submit offers are 5 September 2016 for the Almus and Köklüce HPPs, and 30 September 2016 for the Menzelet and Kılavuzlu HPPs. Due to confidentiality reasons, except for the offerors of the tender for Çamlıca I HPP, the identity of the offerors and the amounts being offered for the transfers of operational rights have not been publicly disclosed yet.

Construction and operation by concession of Skavica HPP on the Drin River in Albania with an installed capacity of 350 MW

This project consists of the construction and operation by concession of Skavica HPP on Drin River with an installed capacity of 350 MW. Two Turkish companies Suzer Group and Nurol Holding are under consideration for this project. However, at the moment this project is under discussion debated whether it will be financed because of its major social and environmental impact. The total estimated cost is EUR 662.4 million. Given this, the GoA has announced that there are two other options under consideration which consist of constructing two HPP. The first option is Katund i Ri 445 and Skavica 395 with a total cost of investment of EUR 347.8 million and the second option is Katund i Ri 445 and Skavica 385 with a total cost of investment of EUR 313.8 million. GoA is seeking financing means for either of these two options.

The Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD is to issue new bonds within the next 12 months to repay the EUR 650 million bridge financing

The Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD (BEH), a state-owned holding company of key enterprises in the energy sector, periodically seeks finance to fund its subsidiaries. Two years ago BEH issued bonds for EUR 500 million. Recently, BEH announced that it will borrow up to EUR 650 million in a bridge financing from J.P. Morgan Securities, IMI and Bank of China. The bulk of the money raised would be used to pay state electric utility NEK’s debts to two coal-fired power plants owned by US investors – AES Maritsa East 1 and ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3. The plan is to issue new bonds within the next 12 months to repay the EUR 650 million bridge financing.

      Croatia is getting ready to develop an LNG terminal on the island of Krk

      Croatia confirmed plans for new LNG terminal in 2016 with total cost of EUR 600 million and hopes to obtain EU funds for 25% of the investment. The expected annual capacity is 5 billion cubic metres.

      Media speculations now say that the new Croatian Government has decided to construct a floating terminal only, with a vessel for liquid gas regasification, in order to accelerate the construction.

      A new approach is expected to effect the privatisation of the Greek DEPA targeting for increased competition in the field of natural gas

      The Hellenic Republic holds 65% of DEPA, with the remaining held by Hellenic Petroleum. DEPA holds 100% of DESFA, which holds, operates and develops the National Natural Gas Transmission System. DEPA also holds a 51% interest in the Gas Distribution Companies of Attica, Thessaloniki and Thessalia, which supply retail clients in their respective regions.

      Construction of a reversible hydro power plant "Bistrica" in Montenegro with an installed capacity of 680 MW

      One of the most "attractive" new hydropower facilities to be constructed is reversible hydro power plant "Bistrica" with an installed capacity of 680 MW near the existing power plant "Bistrica". The upper basin RHPP "Bistrica" is a newly designed reservoir, directly downstream from the reservoir Radojnja, with an energy value of approximately 60 GWh, while the lower basin is existing reservoir of HPP "Potpeć". According to the concept design, the estimated value of the investment was EUR 550 million.

      Romania's largest, state-owned electricity producer, Hidroelectrica, is expected to exit insolvency by October 2016

      Romania's largest, state-owned electricity producer, is expected to exit insolvency by October 2016 when steps towards a 15% listing of the company on the stock exchange shall be taken, project with an estimated value of EUR 500 million.

      The Slovenian largest natural gas trader is categorized as an important state capital investment

      Geoplin d.o.o., the Slovenian largest natural gas trader and one of the most important Slovenian energy companies, is categorized as an important state capital investment, according to the State Asset Management Strategy. The state plans to retain in it at least 25% + 1 share. It currently owns 39,57% of shares.

      Privatisation of İGDAŞ, Istanbul’s natural gas distribution company

      After the privatisation of BaşkentGaz (Ankara’s natural gas distribution company) in 2013, the only significant state-owned natural gas distribution company is İGDAŞ (Istanbul’s natural gas distribution company). The tender for the privatisation of İGDAŞ was originally expected to be announced in late 2015 or early 2016, but this has still not occurred. It is possible that this privatisation may be in the form of a public offering instead of a block sale.