Romania turns down emergency energy request from Bulgaria

Last weekend, blizzards caused power blackouts in more than 770 Bulgarian towns, the government said. [Dnevnik, the EurActiv partner in Bulgaria]

Bulgaria has made a request for the urgent supply of electricity from neighbouring Romania. But Bucharest refused, as consumption has peaked in both countries under unusually fierce winter conditions. EurActiv.com reports, in partnership with Dnevnik.

Bulgaria demanded electricity supplies from Romania yesterday (9 January), but the request was denied, Bulgarian media quoted Romanian officials as saying.

Problems in the electricity distribution system, linked to harsh weather conditions and increased power consumption, prompted the government to make the request, according to Bulgarian National Television.

South-East Europe has been experiencing unseasonably low temperatures since last week.

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According to broadcast bTV, as of 19:00 PM local time (EET) on Monday, the consumption of power in Bulgaria peaked to 7,700 MWh during the busiest hours, an unprecedented amount for the past 20 years.

NOVA TV says that according to Romania’s Energy Minister Florian-Toma Petcu, Bucharest could not grant the request, as its own electricity consumption had increased due to the bad weather.

“Taking into account the delicate situation in which Romania could find itself, we did not take the commitment and said we were unable to help,” NOVA quoted Petcu as saying.

The Romanian minister also said that electricity consumption in his country would exceed 9,500 MW daily, while the consumption of gas could reach 74 million cubic metres a day. He added that this would be a historic record, as the previous peak has been 71.2 million cubic metres a day.

Maximal temperatures in Romania today are expected to be between minus 10 and minus 15 centigrade, down as far as minus 29 degrees. Bulgaria expects today to be the coldest day, with temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees.

Snowstorms paralyzed traffic and cut electricity to hundreds of thousands of people in Bulgaria, forcing nuclear energy plant Nuclearelectrica in neighboring Romania on Friday (6 January) to shut down its No. 1 reactor.

Last weekend, blizzards caused power blackouts in more than 770 Bulgarian towns, the government said. It also closed parts of the Trakiya motorway in south-eastern Bulgaria, all roads in a swathe of the north-east, and the main A-2 motorway linking the Romanian capital Bucharest with the Black Sea port of Constanta.

State-owned Nuclearelectrica said it had disconnected its No. 1,706-megawatt reactor on the Danube river from the national grid because of heavy snow, which had interfered with a power evacuation line. Nuclearelectrica’s two reactors supply about a fifth of Romania’s electricity.

Bulgaria expects the Danube to freeze today, which will stop traffic on the EU’s biggest river.

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