The Commission for Protection of Competition established abuse of dominant position by NEK
28 August 2019
The Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) established violations of the antitrust law committed by NEK and imposed a BGN 315,612 (c.a. EUR 160,000) fine.
The established infringements constitute abuse of NEK’s dominant position on the market of balancing of the electricity of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) producers at preferential prices (feed-in tariffs) on the territory of Bulgaria.
The violations ascertained by the CPC consist of imposing unfair commercial terms on the RES electricity producers. In particular, the CPC has concluded that:
- NEK has corrected the hourly forecast schedules for production submitted by the RES producers as members of the special balancing group (SBG) of NEK whereby creating unjustified additional costs for imbalance for the producers.
- NEK has charged the RES producers as members of the SBG of NEK with additional unjustified costs through the application of the Methodology for allocation of liabilities for imbalances in the SBG with coordinator NEK (the Methodology). This has led to the calculation and invoicing of unreasonably high imbalance costs which exceed several times the total amount of the imbalance of the whole SBG.
- the Methodology (adopted by NEK) allowed NEK to charge the RES producers with imbalance costs which the transmission system operator (ESO EAD) has not accounted, and respectively has not collected from NEK. In practice, this has led to the unilateral and unjustified imposing of additional financial burden to the RES producers.
The decision of CPC may be appealed before the Sofia Administrative Court. If the CPC decision enters into force (i.e. if it is not appealed or is upheld by the court), any RES producer could file a claim against NEK for compensation of damages incurred as a result of the violation.
In such claim proceedings the final decision of the CPC will be binding to the court. This means that the claimant (e.g. RES producer) would not have to prove that NEK committed violation, but only the fact that the claimant suffered damages as a result of the violation and the amount of such damages.
The decision is available on the website of CPC:« Previous Next »