Bulgaria will stop electricity exports to secure domestic consumption after a miners strike in the Maritsa East mining region cut coal supplies. “Exports will be stopped at 1 a.m. on Saturday,” Energy and Economy Minister Traicho Traikov told reporters in Sofia on Friday. Bulgaria sells electricity to neighboring Greece, Serbia, Romania, Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where a drought reduced power output from hydropower plants. The strike at the state-owned mines began on Sunday after the government rejected miners’ demands to raise their wages to reflect increased output.
The Maritsa East mines produce 90 percent of Bulgaria’s coal and service three power plants, including the state-run Maritsa East-2, AES Galabovo AD and ContourGlobal Maritsa East-3, which produce 25 percent of the country’s electricity output, according to their website. The three power plants have coal supplies for a week, which forced AES Galabovo to reduce output to 180 megawatts from 440 MW, according to the Electricity System Operator in Sofia.