Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD european face of bulgarian coal output


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A summary of an audit

Mini Maritza Iztok EAD(MMI) will receive EUR 15 Million in grant support from the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund (KIDSF), administered by EBRD, to finance new mining equipment for its operations in Bulgaria.

MMI, a 100% state-owned enterprise, is the largest coal mining company in the Republic of Bulgaria. Its main activity is lignite coal extraction from three opencast mines, extracting 94% of Bulgaria’s lignite total; this is used to supply four thermal power stations with a total installed generation capacity of over 3300 MW a significant percentage of Bulgaria’s power requirement.

The grant will fund the replacement of three obsolete SR 1200 bucket-wheel excavators with one, more modern, bucket wheel excavator – SR 2000 model – and the purchase of a new SR-200 excavator to help accelerate the secondary removal of overburden from internal dump sites, allowing for increased lignite coal extraction to supply the newly-commissioned fourth thermal power plant. The new equipment will improve the company’s efficiency and reduce the power demand in the mine through the use of more modern equipment and the reduction in conveyor line requirements.

Prior to any grant disbursement, the site and management offices of the company were visited in order to carry out an assessment of the company policies, procedures and practices. These were assessed against compliance with EBRD’s Performance Requirements (PRs)and general industry good practice for social, environmental, health and safety and technical matters.  The company was found to be in full compliance with the Bulgarian Laws and Regulations applicable to the operations at the site and generally compliant with the requirements of the EBRD PRs through their current procedures and management plans.

In order to improve transparency in their decision making process some recommendations have been made with regard to formalising and streamlining some of the company procedures into more internationally recognised Engagement and Action Plans, particularly with regard to Land Acquisition and Resettlement.  While the company is managing these aspects in a reasonable manner, production of these more formal Plans will provide further safeguards for both the company and any parties affected by the mine activities.  A timetable for their production has been suggested to allow this work to commence.

Further recommendations have been made to help improve environmental practices at the site with regard to monitoring of water discharge, topsoil storage and dust, but these are to help improve systems already in place in line with best practice around Europe rather than any non-compliance issues.

The technical assessment of the project found the equipment proposed is appropriate and well suited for the duties envisaged and that there are no real alternatives which can match or improve the proposals.  The project proposals have been well thought through, and the assumptions used in the justification are, if anything, conservative and robust


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