SOFIA (Bulgaria), April 13 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria will disburse around 450 million levs ($249 million/230.1 million euro) of EU financing to local companies in the next few months to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy costs and launch reforms under the country's recovery and resilience plan, the innovation ministry said.
By the start of July, the government will kick off the first procedure under the 6.3-billion-euro plan for Bulgaria's economic recovery from the pandemic approved by the European Commission last week, the innovation ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The first portion of the grant financing, which aims to stimulate companies' technological modernisation, will amount to some 260 million.
Separately, under the EU's Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe instrument, or React-EU, Bulgarian authorities will start providing energy efficiency grants of more than 136 million levs to companies, the ministry said. This funding will enable businesses to bring down their electricity overheads in the face of record-high power prices.
Under that programme, micro, small and medium-sized businesses in the heavily-affected manufacturing and processing sectors could each receive between 25,000 levs and 150,000 levs to purchase energy-saving assets or to finance construction and renovation works.
Companies and sole traders are invited to apply for the energy efficiency grants from May 3 to May 23.
The new measure is designed to stimulate more businesses to improve their production environment, labour and production processes, thus optimising costs. There will be a requirement for 50% co-financing by the grant recipients.
The state will also disburse 41 million levs under its coronavirus pandemic assistance scheme to small businesses with a pre-pandemic turnover of 500,000 levs or more in 2019. The support scheme totals 78.2 million levs out of which 66.5 million levs comes from the European Regional Development Fund.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)