EC approves Bulgarian state aid for building CHP plant in Sofia

The European Commission (EC) said that it has approved Bulgaria's plans to provide financial support for the construction of a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Sofia which will run on unrecyclable municipal waste.

The support will consist of a direct grant of some 90.8 million euro ($100 million) financed by EU structural funds managed by Bulgaria, and a 3 million euro loan granted by Sofia municipality, the Commission said in a statement.

The measures are necessary, as the project would not be carried out without public support, the EU's executive body noted.

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The CHP installation will burn 180,000 tonnes of waste per year in the Bulgarian capital, which has long been criticised by the European Commission for its poor air quality.

The co-generation plant, set up by municipally-owned company Toplofikatsiya Sofia, will produce heat and electricity with a capacity of approximately 55 megawatts (MW) of heat and 19 MW of electricity.