AmCham Energy and Mineral Resources Committee Meeting with guest speaker Mr. Karel Kral, Country Manager of CEZ Bulgaria
On March 21st, 2018, AmCham Energy and Mineral Resources Committee held a meeting to discuss recent developments in the energy and mining sector in Bulgaria.
According to a decision of the AmCham Board of Directors from January 20th, 2018, the new Co-chairs of the Energy and Mineral Resources Committee are Mr. Olivier Marquette, AES Bulgaria Head of Business Development, EurAsia SBU, and Mr. Alex Nestor, AmCham Individual Member. Ms. Aneliya Erdly remains a member of the committee.
- Presentation on Proposed changes of the Energy Act and Impact
Svetoslav Dimitrov, Partner with Penkov, Markov & Partners
Mr. Boris Lazarov, Attorney-at-law, Partner with Penkov, Markov & Partners
Ms. Ralitsa Tihova, Attortney at Law, Partner with Penkov, Markov & Partners
Ms. Ralitsa Tihova presented the main features of the proposed Bill for Amendment and Supplement of the Energy Act (the Bill) and highlighted some of the major concerns with it. Then the present members made their comments.
As a result, members agreed on the following course of actions:
- The Energy and Mineral Resources Committee will produce a letter/memo highlighting the key issues with the Bill, to be addressed to the relevant institutions. The draft will be prepared by Penkov, Markov and Partners and distributed to committee members for comments.
- AmCham will offer support to the relevant institutions by providing field experts from the membership who can to take part in the legislative process.
Key-note speaker of the meeting was Mr. Karel Kral, Country Manager of CEZ Bulgaria, who gave a presentation titled “The CEZ-Experience and impact on the investment climate in the country”, which was followed by a Q&A Session.
In the end Mr. Alex Nestor gave short overview of the latest developments in the Mineral Resources Sector in Bulgaria. The sector is performing relatively well. It contributes around 4% to the GDP and provides employment to 25 000-30 000 people, including the satellite industries. Some minor changes have been proposed to the Mining Act, but they will not impact significantly the operations of the companies. There is a permanent argument whether the concessioners are paying enough in royalties and concession fees in Bulgaria. Our concession fees are no different from those in other mining countries. However, there is a difference in the way royalties are calculated in Bulgaria, to the disadvantage of the concessioners.
The prospects of the mining industry are good due to the tendency for shifting to electric vehicles. Their production requires large quantities of copper and Bulgaria is the fourth largest producer of this metal in Europe at the moment. There is an increased demand for it and its price will most likely go up in the future.
Committee members are invited to propose topics for discussion for future meetings and share best corporate practices for dealing with the Regulator, local municipalities, policies, etc. to [email protected]