AmCham Bulgaria Advocates for Energy Diversification and Responsible Energy Transition in Bulgaria

On February 14th, 2022, AmCham Bulgaria with the cooperation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (UCSS) hosted a business luncheon at Washington D.C. for the Bulgarian delegation leading an Energy trade mission to the United States. The delegation was led by Asen Vassilev, Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds and Minister of Finance and the Minister of Energy Alexander Nikolov and included a group of senior leaders from state-owned Bulgarian energy companies.

The luncheon was attended by Ambassador Herro Mustafa, U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria and Ambassador Tihomir Stoytchev, Ambassador of Bulgaria to the United States.

The group was welcomed by Dan Byers, Vice President for Climate and Technology Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

AmCham Bulgaria pointed out the importance of the transatlantic economy and strong relationship between U.S. and Bulgaria and mentioned some of the priorities of the chamber that include Energy, Healthcare, Defense, Digitalization, and Innovation.

AmCham Bulgaria and its 300+ members are ready to share their global experience and engage with the Bulgarian government and various key stakeholders to support and promote Bulgaria’s economic growth and prosperity. The chamber is committed to provide concrete recommendations backed by fact-based analysis and unbiased data. In 2021, it presented a holistic study and proposals to improve the functioning of the healthcare system in Bulgaria.

Energy Decarbonization of Bulgaria

Capital and technology deployment by the private sector will play a key role in the transformation of the energy sector, and AmCham welcomes the opportunity to support Bulgaria’s efforts to make energy more secure and sustainable for the people of Bulgaria. AmCham Bulgaria is ready with its “Energy Industry Decarbonization Study” – a comprehensive report with three scenarios and a policy recommendations package. In the coming weeks, it will initiate the public discussion on the pathways which Bulgaria can pursue in achieving the EU decarbonization targets while maintaining a viable power sector, working economy, and ensuring a fair energy transition for Bulgaria and the region.

The report, which AmCham presented during the luncheon, proposes a strategic approach to a responsible energy transition towards the decarbonization of the power sector of Bulgaria including increased diversification of the gas supply for the whole region. The report is the result of an analysis based on fact evidence, solid data, and tangible assumptions originated from some of the most up-to-date energy and climate documents of the EU and Bulgaria. The chamber is starting a thorough communication plan to present the study to all relevant authorities, stakeholders, as well as to media and public at large.

In February 2022 AmCham will present its “Energy System Decarbonization Study”.

With regard the EU Green Deal targets for decarbonization that include some massive electrification of the urban areas, digitalization, e-mobility, etc., the European economy will depend on the heavy industry, incl. sustainable mining. Thus, Bulgaria’s green strategy should focus on building much stronger economy, solid industrial base, well-educated and properly trained human capital, and favorable business environment.

Energy Diversification

During the luncheon, the delegation discussed opportunities for collaboration with world-class U.S. companies and the role that modern nuclear technologies and natural gas can play in Bulgaria’s energy transition including through diversification of the nuclear fuel supply and LNG imports from the United States to Europe. LNG shipments from the US increased since late 2021 and early 2022. Bulgaria can diversity its energy supplies and increase its energy independence by completing the ICGB project as per the updated plan, investing in the development of the Gas Terminal in Alexandroupolis, and upgrading its gas network leveraging its geostrategic location for gas transit.