We were closely involved in drafting the energy legislation in Bulgaria and its harmonization to the EU legislation from the very beginning – the first Energy & Energy Efficiency Act (1999), Ordinance for Granting Permit and Licences for execution of activities in the energy sector (2000), Ordinance for Formation and Application of the Electricity Prices (2000). The new energy secondary legislation – Licencing Ordinances both from 2004 and 2013 were also drafted by our team.
In the period 2000 – 2004 we were legal advisors of the State Agency for Energy Efficiency on drafting amendments of energy law, on secondary legislation, draft agreements on energy efficiency.
During the years we were consultant of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources and State Energy Regulatory Commission and advised them on the new Energy Law.
Members of our team have been involved in the drafting of the energy legislation in Kosovo (2006) - Project “Completing Regulatory Framework for Energy Sector in Kosovo” (UNMIK), in Egypt (2009) - “Institutional capacity building to the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency” and in Macedonia (2013) - “Renewable Energy Macedonia – Small Hydro Power/Regulatory Framework Improvement”.
Other energy projects of importance, where we and/or our associates have taken part, are as follows:
- Granting electricity distribution licences of the first two private electricity distribution companies in Bulgaria. We have elaborated the due diligence reports, applications for licences and applications for approving the prices of electricity and we provided complete legal consulting of our clients during the licensing procedure before the State Energy Regulatory Commission, including participation in negotiations and meetings;
- Granting licences on electricity generation by hydro power plants and approval of the prices. The due diligence reports have been elaborated by us, as well as the applications for licences and prices;
- Amendment of generation licences – elaboration of all documents, required under the licensing ptocedure provided by the Energy Act and Licensing Ordinance. Negotiations and meetings with the State Energy & Water Regulatory Commission subjecting the generation licence amendments.
- Granting natural gas distribution and supply licences - restructuring of the activities, preparation of GTC of contracts and other documents, required by SEWRC under Energy Act.
- Consulting and drafting of all necessary documents concerning construction and operation of major RES Projects - Wind Power Parks at the region of Black Sea Coast and Southern Bulgaria and Solar Power Parks at North-Eastern part of Bulgaria.
We provided legal assistance to the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency, Bulgarian Energy Regulator, UNMIK-Central Regulatory Unit of Kosovo, Slovenian Energy Regulator, Bulgarian Energy Efficiency Agency and Ministry of Energy & Energy Resources of Bulgaria. We have been consultants of the World Bank under the projects for the financial stabilisation of Sofia and Pernik District Heating Companies and for supporting the State Energy Regulatory Commission in drafting standardised forms of permits and licences and internal rules, procedures and manuals.
We worked under the PHARE and SARA projects on “Preparation of Strategy of State Energy Regulation Commission” and “Pre-privatisation assistance for improvement of the management of electric power distribution companies". We took place at the PHARE demo project concerning the legal aspects of the establishment of waste management companies in Bulgaria.
We have been a partner together with Arnold Solicitors /UK/ for the implementation of the PHARE project for the Institutional Building of State Energy Regulatory Commission in Bulgaria in 2003, as well as under a project for establishing a legislative and regulatory framework for the energy sector in Kosovo in 2003/2004.
We have provided legal support to the State Energy & Water Regulatory Commission during the process of drafting the licences for electricity distribution and electricity supply in compliance with the requirements of the Energy Act and Licensing Ordinance. We are involved also in the drafting of the licences for transmission, transit, storage and supply of natural gas.
We presently participate together with KEMA in the Project for approval of methodology for pricing by Bulgartransgas in compliance with the Third Energy Package.
Our significant experience includes, but is not limited to legal consulting and services for major infrastructure projects in Bulgaria, i.e.: former Maritza East 3 TPP and Maritza East 2 TPP. We have rendered legal advises to our client during the implementation of the project for former Maritza East 3 TPP in Bulgaria and namely as consulting the company on regulatory framework requirements and granting the generation licence, construction permit and approval of the prices of electricity. We have been involved as a consultant to “Maritsa East 2” EAD in the project for construction of FGDs at Units 5 and 6 of Maritsa East 2 TPP, to be financed by ISPA and EBRD. We’ve been involved also in the project for construction of replacement capacity of Co-generation Units District Heating Company - Sofia.
We have provided legal services to a client regarding Maritza East 1 TPP, especially consulting on the legal framework for construction of new generation capacities in Bulgaria and concluding of long-term power purchase agreements.
The regulatory framework for the development of the project for construction of Tzankov Kamak HPP as well as obtaining of all required permits and approvals with respect to the Bulgarian legislation were prepared by us for our client.
In the field of constructing new co-generation facilities in district heating companies in Bulgaria, our experience includes but is not limited to providing legal advising to the major domestic district heating companies during the implementation of their projects in the respective Bulgarian towns. Our services on these projects covered in depth analysis of the co-generation regulatory framework, preparation of due diligence of the projects, and other related legal aspects such as construction and environmental regulations, property issues including the easement rights, protection of competition issues, drafting of PPAs and other agreements, etc. In one of her most recent assignments (in 2013) we participated in a project aiming to providing Technical assistance for design of CHP Plant in Sofia with RDF utilization.
We have drafted legal due diligence reports of Gorna Arda HPP and Cherni Osam Dam. We typically carry out due diligence surveys in a form already tested and improved through our experience. These activities, performed in accordance with the valid Bulgarian legislation, covered the status of the property rights, intellectual property rights, construction of dams and hydro power plants, ecology, insurances as well as contracts – civil, labour and trade ones, granting of concessions.
We have been consultants of one of the new owners of successfully privatized electricity distribution companies in Bulgaria during the process of re-sructuring of the latter in compliance with the requirements of the EU Directive for separating the businesses into independent supplier and independent distributer of electricity.
One of our recent activities includes our participation together with KEMA in the Project for elaborating a methodology for natural gas pricing (entry-exit model implementation) which has been assigned under the rules of the Bulgarian Public Procurement Act by the national system operator - Bulgartransgaz.
Our experience in the privatisation covers consulting services either of the Ministry of Energy or of the potential buyers. We provided elaboration of due diligence reports and tender documents for all phases of privatisation process, advises in connection with corporate and commercial issues and on the transaction documents.
We have been nominated as liaison between the Ministry of Energy and the Privatization Agency under the privatization of the seven distributions companies in Bulgaria.
Our advices concern also any potential competition issues, resulting from the privatisation and future restructuring of the activities in the energy sector. Powers of SEWRC and Competition Protection Commission are also subjected by our services. We were directly involved in the restructuring process of the privatized electricity distribution companies in compliance with the requirements of the respective EU directives thereof.
We attend meetings of our clients, assist them in negotiations and represent them both before the courts and any state or municipality authorities.
We assist our clients in the tendering procedures as both commenting and preparing the required tender documents under the Public Procurements Act and Energy Act. We elaborated due diligence reports for the distribution of natural gas in compliance with the requirements of the Energy Act – licensing and tendering procedures. Our clients have been granted a licence for natural gas distribution at the territory of Zapad region in Bulgaria.
Legal problems related to the use of mineral resources including energy resources and water is also one of the important directions of our activities. Our experience in this field includes drafting of due diligence reports and draft concession contracts. We have been occupied in the drafting of the general terms and conditions for granting a concession on the use of geothermal energy sources under a project financed by the World Bank - “Assessment of Existing and Potential Barriers for the Use of Geothermal Resources in Bulgaria and Recommendations for their Elimination”.
We have been engaged in elaboration and preparation of applications for issuing and amendment of water use permits for our clients and also draft contracts for the services of supply, collection and treatment of the water.
We have significant experience in the field of:
- Establishment of different types of commercial companies, including joint-venture companies (drafting documents of establishment-statutes, articles of associates, protocols, applications to the court and commercial chamber and ect.);
- Registration and representation at Bulgarian national institutions;
- Re-structuring and re-organization of trade companies;
- Preparation of due diligence and draft documents and contracts.
We are also specialized in elaboration of documents and contracts, including drafting and participation in negotiations and procedures for:
- connecting to the networks for transmission and distribution of electricity, heat and natural gas;
- power purchase agreements and purchase agreements for heat energy;
- services on energy efficiency.
We render legal services subjecting civil construction regulations – either with respect to the construction of trade and office areas or with reference to the construction of new co-generations, wind and hydro power plants and FDGs of thermal power plants. As three of the licensed gas-distribution and supply companies are our clients, it is of our competence to advise also on the construction of new gas pipelines and connecting of the distribution network pipelines to the transmission ones.
The project for monitoring of landslides and abrasive processes alongside the Black Sea Coast in Bulgaria, performed in collaboration between the Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works and Italian Ministry of Environment has been carried out by our legal supporting.