The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed a loan agreement totalling Y25.1bn (US$231mn) with the Maritsa East II Thermal Power Plant Company in Bulgaria. The loan is being cofinanced with the Tokyo branch of ABN Amro.
JBIC will provide the loan to the Maritsa power plant as a buyer’s credit, thus supporting Japanese exports. It will enable the plant to import turbines, generators and desulfurisers from Mitsui Co. The plant, which is situated in central-eastern Bulgaria, is the country’s largest power station.
With Bulgaria setting its sights on joining the European Union in 2007, the country’s power sector must become compliant with EU environmental standards. With this in mind, the project aims to upgrade the power station, which is nearly 40 years old and losing efficiency, by replacing turbines and generators as well as installing new desulfurisers.
This project came into being after JBIC, at the request of the Bulgarian government, conducted a feasibility study with Japanese firms on rehabilitating the Maritsa plant.