Bulgaria and Turkey open second link between power grids

Sep 28, 2002 02:00 AM

Bulgarian Energy Minister Milko Kovachev and his Turkish counterpart Zeki Cakan commissioned officially on 28 September the 400 kV Sakar power line, a second link between the two countries' power grids. At the Hamitabat power plant in Turkey, the two ministers pressed a button for the symbolic launch of the power line.
The new facility will increase power exchange and secure the Bulgarian power supplies to Turkey to the amount of some 4,000 mm kWh a year with a maximum capacity of 700 MW.

The power line was built under a 1999 long-term agreement on electricity export between Bulgarian electricity supplier NEK and the Turkish energy company TAES. The Bulgarian part of the project was funded by NEK and absorbed 53 mm leva.
After the commissioning of Sakar Bulgaria will be exporting electricity to Turkey via two direct links: The 400 kV Edirne power line from the Maritsa Iztok 3 power plant to the Babaeski plant in Turkey; and Sakar from Maritsa Iztok 3 to Hamitabat. Sakar is 150 km, of which 60 km are on the Bulgarian side and 90 km on the Turkish.

Apart from increasing supplies, the new power line will also improve the management of power transmission from Bulgaria to Turkey, NEK chief engineer and Board of Directors member Mityu Khristozov said at the ceremony. He explained that Sakar will also secure the reliable operation of the Turkish power grid in parallel with the European electricity system UCTE through the Bulgarian power grid.
"If we remained lone players, our two countries would have been thrown out by the globalisation and the dynamics of the energy market," the Bulgarian Energy Minister said. According to him, the new time requires partnership and coordination for implementing projects of major importance for the region.

Source: BBC Monitoring European
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