Brussels approval of Bulgarian industry aid plan sets EU precedent

The European Commission has endorsed a Bulgarian support plan for the country’s energy-intensive industries in the form of reduced renewable energy (RES) duty fees.

A landmark decision, the move stands to set a precedent for other EU member states, including Greece. It concerns energy-intensive companies that meet a series of specific criteria adopted in line with EU directives.

According to the plan prepared by Bulgarian authorities, companies to benefit from the measure must be financially sound without any outstanding tax and social security fund debts or EU support funds that need to be returned after being ruled illegal by the European Commission.

Bulgarian authorities have set an annual consumption lower limit of 1 GWh as a criterion for energy-intensive industries seeking to qualify for the new support plan.

Corporations that qualify for the measure will be granted RES energy duty reductions of between 40 and 85 percent, depending on their energy intensities.

The total cost of the measure, covering August 1, 2015 to December 31, 2020, is worth 260.75 million euros.