You have 5 free articles left this month. Get your free Basic subscription now and gain instant access to more.

MET Renewables receives antitrust clearance to acquire Eolica Bulgaria

MET Renewables receives antitrust clearance to acquire Eolica Bulgaria The Fraisethrope wind park. Image by: Octopus Renewables.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 22 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's competition authority said on Friday that it granted approval to MET Renewables Holding, part of Swiss energy group MET, to acquire Eolica Bulgaria, owner and operator of a 60 megawatt (MW) wind park in Suvorovo, in the northeast of the country.

The notified transaction could not significantly impede competition or lead to the strengthening of a dominant position on the local market, the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) said in its decision.

The combined share of the local market for production and wholesale of electricity of the parties to the deal is 20-30% in terms of electricity generated by wind turbines and 10-20% in terms of installed capacity. Although this share will give the consolidated group a leading position among wind power producers, the transaction could not hamper competition on the respective local market, the CPC said.

The competition authority also noted that the notified transaction could not have anti-competitive effects on any of the vertically related markets, as the parties do not have a dominant position or significant market power.

After the completion of the planned transaction, there could be no competitive advantage for the acquired company and its subsidiaries in terms of services related to electricity balancing. According to an opinion submitted by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC), access to these services is not limited and takes place in a competitive environment, the CPC noted.

Interested parties can challenge the regulator's decision before Sofia Region Administrative Court by November 5.

Eolica Bulgaria is a Bulgaria-based branch of Spanish renewable energy group Enhol. Established in 2004, it is mainly active in project management in the fields of research, construction and exploitation of renewable energy sources. The company started several wind farm projects in Bulgaria in 2004, including Suvorovo wind farm. The construction of the Suvorovo facility was completed in 2011, making it the company's first wind farm in Bulgaria, according to information on its website.

Last month, MET Group said that it has acquired 100% interest in Suvorovo wind park from Enhol for an undisclosed price. With this acquisition MET will expand its operating wind portfolio in Bulgaria to 102 MW, the Swiss company said, adding that the transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021.

Suvorovo wind park consists of 30 turbines of 2 MW each and generates around 120 GWh of electricity per year. The facility, representing 8.5% of Bulgaria's total installed wind capacity, supplies electricity equivalent to the consumption of around 38,000 households.

MET Group is present in 14 countries through subsidiaries, 25 national gas markets and 22 international trading hubs.