Azerbaijan and Bulgarian energy regulators hold bilaterial meeting

A meeting was held between the Energy Regulatory Agency (AERA) and the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission of the Republic of Bulgaria (EWRC).

The meeting was attended by Azerbaijani Ambassador to Bulgaria Nargiz Gurbanova, AERA’s Chairman of the Board Samir Akhundov, Deputy Chairman Rovshan Ismayilov and other representatives of the organization. The Bulgarian side was represented by EWRC Chairman Ivan Ivanov, Director of the Electricity and Thermal Water Sector Plamen Mladenovsky and other officials.

Opening the online meeting, he gave detailed information about EWRC and said that the Commission attaches great importance to cooperation with the Azerbaijani energy regulator in this area, and the agreement signed in September this year will play a major role in strengthening these ties.

After welcoming the guests, the Chairman of the Board of AERA noted that the meeting took place at a very significant time - the week of Azerbaijan's great victory in the Great Patriotic War. Samir Akhundov informed the meeting participants about the activities of the Agency and the work that has been done over the past years.

He highlighted the importance of the recently signed document between the Azerbaijani and Bulgarian regulators in terms of development prospects in the field of energy and utilities, as well as the need to further expand cooperation.

Later, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Bulgaria Nargiz Gurbanova noted that the relations between the regulators will make a positive contribution to the integration of energy markets of the two countries. The ambassador noted the successful cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy, transport, tourism, information and communication technologies.

Fariz Shirinov, Head of Legal Support and Analysis Department of the AERA, made a presentation and informed participants about the establishment, functions and development prospects of the Agency, international cooperation, a number of important draft laws and regulations prepared by the agency, as well as the project implemented with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Then Plamen Mladenovskiy, Director of the EWRC Electricity and Thermal Water Sector, made a presentation on the topic “Electricity Tariffs. Bulgarian Electricity Market Model ”. He noted that the process of full liberalization of the Bulgarian energy market began in 2015 and continues today. According to him, Bulgaria is one of the few countries in the European Union that has both a regulated and free energy market. Noting that the liberalization is being carried out in stages, Mladenovsky said that the process will start with the wholesale market and continue with the retail market.

The meeting concluded with Q&A part.

It should be noted that on September 9 of 2020, AERA and EWRC signed an agreement on cooperation. The agreement was signed by Samir Akhundov, Chairman of the Board of the Agency, and Ivan Ivanov, Chairman of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission of Bulgaria. According to the agreement, a legal basis for long-term cooperation will be created for the development and integration of the two countries in the field of energy regulation. The agreement envisages training and retraining courses, exchange of information, organization of seminars, conferences and meetings between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria, creation of favorable conditions for the development of bilateral cooperation as well as the implementation of joint projects, and the promotion of other areas of mutual interest.

The Azerbaijan Energy Regulatory Agency has been an associate member of the Regional Association of Energy Regulators (ERRA) since April 2018.

The Bulgarian Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) has been a Bulgarian national regulatory body since 1999, as well as a full member of the ERRA.