Energy and natural resources in Bulgaria
Boyanov & Co. advises on a wide range of energy matters, including assisting with fossil fuel exploration permits, contractual and regulatory issues in the distribution and supply of natural gas, and public procurement processes in the nuclear energy sector. As well as providing regulatory advice, Damian Simeonov, head of the firm’s banking and finance practice, has experience of financing energy projects. The team also handles mergers, acquisitions and unfair competition proceedings pertaining to the energy sector. Alexander Chatalbashev heads up the practice, which counts EVN Energy, Westinghouse Electric and Sunowe Solar GmbH among its clients. Counsel Nikolay Kolev is another name to note.
EVN Elektrosnabdyavane EAD (Bulgaria)
Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB
EVN Elektrorazpredelenie EAD (Bulgaria)
EVN Trading South East Europe EAD
Sevlievo Gas (Bulgaria)
Sunowe Solar GmbH (Germany)
Societa Petrolifera Mediterranea Srl.
- Representing local EVN subsidiaries in proceedings brought by the Bulgarian competition authority for alleged abuse of dominance.
- Advised Società Petrolifera Mediterranea Srl. on the procedures for obtaining a hydrocarbon exploration permit for an onshore territory.
- Representing Electricni Financni Tim D.O.O., Serbia, in a dispute for €1.6m of unpaid deliveries of electricity with a local electricity trader.
The team at CMS draws on its ‘long-term experience’ to advise clients on the full spectrum of energy and natural resources work, including nuclear and conventional energy production, oil and gas exploration, renewable energy, waste management, and regulatory consultancy and litigation. The team is especially prominent in exploration, having assisted Shell, SPM, Repsol and Petroceltic with obtaining onshore and offshore licences. The firm’s strong corporate and commercial practice also allows the team to advise on financing, agreements and restructurings of energy projects. The practice is jointly led by Kostadin Sirleshtov, who is a former board member of several key energy companies and highly rated by peers in the sector, and Dimitar Zwiatkow, who specialises in the financing and real estate aspects of projects.
‘CMS Sofia provides highly-professional services from experienced lawyers having the expertise and motivation to meet the best criteria for quality of the work.’
‘They have a deep understanding of local energy law specifics and global trends in the sector.’
‘The professionalism and devotion of CMS Sofia and its employees towards their work are impressive.’
ACWA Power/Blackrock/Crescent Capital
Scholz Recycling GmbH
SDN Company Ltd. / RES Technology
- Assisted Shell International Exploration with its winning bid for a €150m offshore exploration licence, as well as the subsequent transfer of 30% of its rights to Woodside Energy.
- Advising Petroceltic on its application for licensing a €100m gas storage project.
- Assisting investors with the debt restructuring of Acwa Power CF Karad PV Park, which owns one of the largest photovoltaic plants in Bulgaria.
Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov’s key strengths lie in the corporate and commercial aspects of energy work, advising on contractual disputes, SPAs, M&A and regulatory matters. The firm has acted for a number of clients in disputes with the nationalised energy companies and regulatory bodies, including ContourGlobal Maritza East III, a coal-fired power plant operator, and Mechel International Holdings GmbH, a global mining company. Milan Pandev, an expert in the regional oil and gas markets leads the team, alongside senior partner Georgi Gouginski. The team provides ongoing consultancy to major market players, including Lukoil and Axpo Trading. Counsel Anton Krustev and senior associate Nikola Minchev are other names to note.
‘DGKV provides highly professional services from experienced lawyers. They have the expertise and the motivation to achieve the highest quality of work.’
Aresgas AD (former Rila Gaz EAD)
Axpo Trading AG
CEZ Elektro Bulgaria AD
CEZ Razpredelenie Bulgaria AD
Chevron Munaigas Inc.
ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 AD
EDF-Electricite de France S.A.
Gazprom Marketing & Trading Limited
GE Renewable Energy – Hydro
LUKOIL Europe Holding B.V.
Mechel International Holdings GmbH
Mercuria Energy Europe Trading Ltd
MET International AG
NEPI Investment Management SRL
OMV Trading GmbH
PAPIR SERVIS FHB DOO
SBB ENERGY S.A.
Shanghai Chaori International Trading Co. Ltd
Shanghai Sensheng Assets Management Centre
Vodosnabdyavane i kanalizatsiya Dobrich AD
Water & Sewerage Company Steneto EOOD 2
Water & Sewerage Company Dobrich AD
- Represented ČEZ Electro Bulgaria AD in a commercial dispute against Future Energy, a trader in electricity, and its creditor Karpleon Bulgaria, arising from a framework agreement for electricity supply and its early termination.
- Acting for Gazprom Export in a €110m complex cross-border commercial dispute against the Bulgarian Overgas group of companies.
- Advised the European Commission on a legal study for innovation and security of supply for electricity and gas transmission networks
Jordanov, Ignatov, Ivanov Law Firm is a key name in the field of energy and natural resources. The firm advised the Bulgarian Ministry of Energy on the potential tender offer to complete the €12-14bn construction of Belene Nuclear Power Plant. While most of the firm’s mandates come from the Ministry of Energy and the nationalised energy companies, it has also represented Elit Auto against the regulatory authorities in its petition to have its renewable energy facilities connected to the national grid. Practice heads Rumen Ignatov and Ivan Jordanov are highly experienced in this field, with the latter having assisted with the creation of Bulgaria’s energy exchange (Ibex) in 2014. Dimitar Ivanov is another name to note.
Bulgarian Ministry of Energy
National Electric Company
Bulgarian Energy Holding
Elit Auto Limited
- Advising the Ministry of Energy on the options for restarting the construction of Belene nuclear power plant and choosing a strategic investor in tender proceedings.
- Advising the National Electricity Company on matters related to the nuclear equipment for Belene nuclear power plant project, as well as on the acquisition of the project by a private investor.
- Advising Elit Auto Ltd. on a project for an energy-passive factory.
The ‘pro-active’ team at Kambourov & Partners is particularly experienced in the field of electricity trading, having advised the European Federation of Energy Traders, GEN-I, MVM Group and the Hydroenergy Group on their activities in the Bulgarian market. Pipelines are another core strength of the firm; it acted for Societa Appalto Lavori Pubblici and Citygas Bulgaria on public procurement bids for pipeline construction, and associated subsequent contractual disputes. The practice is headed by Stefan Tzakov, an experienced litigator who ‘stands out’ for his wide-ranging expertise in the Bulgarian energy market. Irena Petkova is also noted.
‘I can fully recommend the firm. They are an accurate and reliable service provider. Compared to other firms they are very commercial and approachable.’
Arkad, Saudi Arabia
ČEZ, a.s., Czech Republic
ACT Commodities B.V.
Societa Appalto Lavori Pubblici S.p.A (SALP), Italy
Hydroenergy Group, Bulgaria
Kurucu Law Offices, Turkey
Citygas Bulgaria EAD
European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET)
GEN-I d.o.o., Slovenia
RWE Supply & Trading, Germany
MVM Group, Hungary
Worldview Economic Recovery Fund/Petroceltic Group
- Advising the Saudi Arabian consortium Arkad on the development and construction of the Bulgarian section of the €1bn TurkStream gas pipeline.
- Acting for Tesla Inc. on its potential entrance into the Bulgarian market, including advice on the regulatory aspects of charging station construction.
- Acting for ČEZ in investment arbitration claims against the Republic of Bulgaria in relation to the state’s alleged failure to observe the investment protection provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty.
The energy and natural resources practice at Wolf Theiss covers all segments of the power sector – natural gas production and distribution; nuclear, renewable and conventional power generation; commodity and energy trading; regulatory compliance, and dispute resolution. The ‘outstandingly professional, courteous and proficient’ Radoslav Mikov is the key member of the team, and jointly leads the practice alongside Anna Rizova, who is experienced in advising on nuclear energy, gas pipeline construction and electricity trading. Oleg Temnikov and senior associate Katerina Novakova are other names to note. The firm counts ExxonMobil, Edison Trading, and Micronix among its clients.
‘We appreciate the team’s long-term vision, initiative, and their positive approach towards the dynamic challenges of the Bulgarian energy market.’
‘Mr. Radoslav Mikov has an in-depth knowledge and extensive experience in the energy sector in the country.’
‘Offered us the best legal solutions, with a tactical approach.’
EQOS Energie Österreich GmbH
- Advising ERG Renew, a renewable energy producer, on compliance with the new provisions of the changed Energy Act and the Act for Energy from Renewable Sources.
- Assisted Elpedison Power Generation with its acquisition of wholesale electricity trading licences in five jurisdictions.
- Advised on the construction and development of the offshore part of the South Stream (now renamed Turk Stream) gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.
Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria’s energy and natural resources practice provides ongoing consultancy services to clients in the sector regarding regulatory compliance, contracts, and disputes. Practice head Andrey Delchev is well equipped to provide such advice, having participated in the drafting of energy legislation for seven successive governments. The firm assisted the Bulgarian Petroleum and Gas Association with drafting a new regulatory framework for the trade of oil and oil products, which came into force in January 2019. In addition to its consultancy work, the firm also advises on the financing, construction and tendering process for power projects, with DK Energy Bulgaria (a subsidiary of EDF) and Nomac Solar among its clients. Senior associate Valery Petkov is another key member of the team.
Asarel – Medet
Bulgarian Mining Chamber
Bulgarian Petroleum and Gas Association
CEZ Group, Czech Republic
DK Energy Bulgaria EAD
European Bank of Reconstruction & Development (EBRD)
Government of Belarus
International Arbitration Court at Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Lukoil Bulgaria AD
Lukoil Bulgaria EOOD
Lukoil Neftohim Bourgas AD
Ministry of Environment & Waters
Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW)
National Trust Ecofund
State Energy and Water Regulation Commission
- Assisting with drafting new legislation for the oil sector, Act on the Regulation of the Production and Trade with Oil and Oil Products, for the Bulgarian Petroleum and Gas Association.
- Participating in a World Bank project to analyse and draft legislation for a national clean air act to comply with EU regulations.
- Advising DK Energy Bulgaria EAD on a range of issues, including carrying out due diligence on planned energy projects.
Dinova Rusev & Partners focuses on natural resource extraction and energy trading; the firm provides ongoing advice to approximately 70% of metal ore mining companies active in Bulgaria. The team is experienced in the licensing process for electricity traders – practice head Iliya Grozdanov is particularly knowledgeable, having himself obtained a licence to trade on the Ibex electricity exchange. In addition to representing energy companies, the team also assists companies in other sectors with negotiating contracts for energy supply and grid connection. Key clients include Coca-Cola, Energo-Pro and Kaliakra Wind Power.
‘The team is very experienced in energy law matters, they possess the specific knowledge required for top quality representation.’
Terna Energy S.A
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Bulgarian Energy Holding
Kaliakra Wind Power
Assos Capital – AP Retail I EOOD
Dundee Precious Metals
Coca-Cola European Partners
- Represented Kaliakra Wind Power in a €10m dispute with the National Electricity Company over payment of balancing charges.
- Advised Terna Energy on the refinancing of a €20m project.
Georgiev, Todorov & Co’s energy and natural resources practice excels in handling disputes for clients in the sector. The firm is representing 47 hydroelectric power plant operators in separate cases against the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission. In addition to its disputes work, the firm assists with drafting complex contracts and agreements, and advises on debt restructuring for energy project holding companies. The team is jointly led by Ivan Todorov and Arno Mamasyan, who has a ‘deep knowledge of energy law.’ Nikolay Lazarov, who ‘produces work of the highest quality’ and the ‘precise and hardworking’ Mariya Derelieva are other key contacts. Miglena Peneva has ‘excellent negotiation skills'.
‘Georgiev, Todorov & Co is a leader in the sector of energy law and natural resources with many successful cases and high profile clients. The team’s key strengths are its commitment, availability, and the passion they put in getting the job done in a perfect way.’
‘They have extensive experience in the energy sector, an excellent track record in litigation and great client-advisor communication and relations.’
‘Our team trusts Georgiev, Todorov & Co for solving our issues in the sector. We cannot recommend them highly enough.’
TEC Bobov Dol
BMF Port Burgas
Port of Burgas
National Association of Property Developers
Union of the producers of Green Energy
Bulgarian Chamber of Mining and Geology/Euromax Services
Bulgarian Energy Holding
- Acted for TEC Bobov Dol, a power plant operator, against the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission in proceedings before the Sofia Administrative Court and the Supreme Administrative Court, securing an award of €11m.
- Advising Resalta Bulgaria, a company specialising in making premises more energy-efficient, in drafting detailed conditional contracts with its customers concerning efficiency thresholds.
- Acting for the National Association of Property Developers in its appeal of the current connection conditions to the electricity grid.
The energy and natural resources practice at Penkov, Markov & Partners has handled major deals in the sector; in 2019, the team advised ČEZ on the planned sale of its Bulgarian assets to Eurohold. The firm has notable expertise in renewable energy feed-in pricing, having acted for manufacturers seeking to sell energy, generated as a by-product of waste-processing, back into the grid. In this vein, the firm counts over 60 renewable energy producers among their clients, and has represented them in compensation claims against the regulatory authorities after a change to feed-in tariffs enacted, and declared unconstitutional in 2014. The practice is jointly led by Vladimir Penkov, Roman Stoyanov, Nikolay Cvetanov and Atanas Valov.
‘We highly appreciate the internal consistency between the team members and the unique expertise each one provides to the client.’
‘My impression of the team is that their working group has not only a good understanding of the legislative framework, but also is proficient in licensing and regulatory matters as well as dispute resolution.’
Mondi Stambolijski EAD
Zlatna Panega Cement
Markan Holding AD
Knauf Bulgaria EOOD
EnergiMidt Renewables A/S, Denmark
Minstroi Holding group of companies
Aenerg energy management team
Wat Burgas Co&KD
Photon Sredets EOOD
Televic Bulgaria EAD
Gravel and Sand Pits Bulgaria EAD
- Advising Mondi Stambolijski, the largest paper producer in the Balkans, on responding to changes in feed-in tariff rates for renewable energy, saving a potential €7.2m annually.
- Represented over 60 renewable energy producers in disputes regarding an unconstitutional 20% fee imposed for eight months.
- Representing Knauf Bulgaria, a construction materials manfacturer, in complex negotiations to receive additional energy from the grid.
Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) acts for upstream and downstream oil and gas suppliers, renewable energy producers, and investors in renewable and fossil-fuel energy companies. The firm is advising Edison on its involvement in the ICBG gas pipeline, and provides ongoing advice to OMV Bulgaria, a fuel station operator. Stefana Tsekova, who counts OMV, EVN, and Woodside Energy among her clients, heads the practice, while attorneys-at-law Ivelina Vassileva and Radoslav Chemshirov focus on downstream oil and gas supply, and regulatory compliance, respectively.
OMV Bulgaria OOD
Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Austria
NATURAL GAS SUBMARINE INTERCONNECTOR GREECE-ITALY-POSEIDON S.A. 5
UniCredit Bulbank AD
Société Générale Expressbank, Bulgaria
- Acted for Woodside Energy on the acquisition of 30% of the exploration rights in the Khan Kubrat 1-14 block in the Black Sea.
- Advising Edison on corporate and regulatory matters regarding the second construction and financing phase of the ICBG pipeline.
- Advising UniCredit Bulbank and others on a syndicated LMA-style financing arrangement extended to seven solar energy companies in Bulgaria.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co covers regulatory and contractual issues, including acting on contentious matters, for major renewable energy companies, including Alpiq and Windkraft Simonsfeld. The firm has experience of drafting commercial contracts regarding electricity grid connection and has assisted energy traders in obtaining licences to trade on the Ibex marketplace. Bogdan Petrov is highly experienced in regulatory matters and the 'talented' Zoya Todorova handles the firm’s transactional and contractual work. Senior associate Pencho Stanchev is 'very successful in litigation' according to one client.
‘The team is very efficient in providing assistance in major legal issues due to its large team consisting of lawyers of practically every specialization. Communicating and working with them is efficient which saves both time and costs of the client.’
‘Exceptionally high level of professional support. Very comprehensive knowledge in the field of energy, as well as all related areas.’
Alpiq Energy SE
Alpiq Energia Bulgaria EOOD
Windkraft Simonsfeld AG
- Advising Alpiq Energy SE on its operations in Bulgaria.
- Assisted Alro with obtaining a licence to trade on the Bulgarian energy market.
- Advising Trakya Glass on obtaining a mining concession for non-metalliferous minerals.
Gugushev & Partners Law Office
Gugushev & Partners Law Office’s ‘strong and capable’ energy and natural resources practice focuses on providing full-spectrum advice and consultancy to renewable energy producers and electricity traders. The firm assists with entry into the power production and trading market – advising on the acquisition or construction of power plants, licensing procedures to produce or sell, and representing clients in negotiations with local grid operators and the relevant regulatory commissions. The ‘extremely knowledgeable, approachable and solution-oriented’ Stefan Gugushev heads the practice, alongside Dobrina Pavlova, whose ‘diligence and precision’ is greatly appreciated by clients. Senior associate Kostadinka Deleva is another name to note.
‘Gugushev & Partners are not simply our legal advisers, but have become a trusted and highly valued partner in achieving our business goals in Bulgaria.’
‘An exceptionally smart and hardworking practice that I highly recommend.’
‘Gugushev & Partners give expert guidance and advice to our company that not only complies with legal and ethical standards, but that also resolves all of our concerns.’
‘Gugushev and Partners provided us with in-depth and professional service on matters related to energy projects, forecasting energy production and other complex issues.’
Hareon Solar Technology Ltd. China
Alpiq AG, Switzerland
El Bonus LTD.
China Development Bank
Construction Management Group Ltd
Ezpada AG, Switzerland
- Advising the China Development Bank on changes in the regulatory framework in the energy market.
- Acting for Construction Management Group, an engineering and asset management company, on its recent expansion into power generation.
- Advising El Bonus on its participation in the energy trading market.
Kinstellar handles the energy aspects of large real estate deals and public infrastructure projects. The firm also counts energy and mining companies among its clients, providing advice on the regulatory environment to NovEnergy Group, and producing a handbook on mining regulation in conjunction with Simmons & Simmons. The team, headed up by Diana Dimova and Mladen Minev , has acted on contentious matters in the energy sector.
‘They are able to combine the efforts of different practices to predict and solve any arising issue. No matter whether it comes to an energy regulation, financing of an energy project, corporate or finance restructuring they always combine efforts and deliver a practical solution that works for the client.’
Simmons & Simmons LLP
Dubovo Energy EOOD
Budeshte Agro EAD
- Advised NovEnergy Group on responding to changes in energy legislation enacted between May and December 2018, concerning changes to feed-in tariffs for renewable producers.
- Acted for Meridiam on the energy and environmental aspects of its Sofia Airport concession bid.
- Advised Sofia Park on regulatory advice concerning the development, ownership, operation, and maintenance of new electricity infrastructure installations to service a new mixed-use development.
Arsov Natchev Ganeva
Arsov Natchev Ganeva’s energy and natural resources practice is focused on large-scale natural gas projects, having advised on the proposed €240m inter-connector Greece-Bulgaria pipeline and plans for a Bulgarian gas hub. The practice has advised investors, infrastructural construction firms, and gas companies on its participation in such projects, and recently assisted the Arkad consortium on its bid for a €1.2bn contract to extend the gas transmission network. Jivko Rokov, Marin Arsov, and Dessislava Lukarova jointly lead the team.
Interconnector Bulgaria-Greece (ICGB AD)
- Advising ICGB on €240m financing from the European Investment Bank.
- Prepared a feasibility study for Bulgurtransgaz for the construction of the Balkan Gas Hub.
- Advised the Arkad consortium on the €1.1bn gas transmission system extension public procurement procedure.
Deloitte Legal Law Firm provides regulatory and compliance advice to fuel retailers, mining companies, electricity suppliers and biofuel producers. The team, led by Reneta Petkova and Pavlin Stoyanoff, has also assisted companies with their energy grid connection procedures and water usage. Stoyanoff's practice is broad, having advised on upstream and downstream oil and gas distribution, renewables, and energy litigation and arbitration, as well as having contributed towards drafting regulatory legislation in the energy sector.
‘A very competent and flexible team.’
‘Exceptional knowledge about the industry.’
Kinkin & Partners specialises in advising on water use regulations for hydroelectric power producers. The firm has experience of advising on obtaining and renewing water usage permits, and litigating against water usage permit withdrawals, acting against the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Environment and Waters, and river basin management commissions. The team (led by the ‘excellent strategist’ Adriana Nacheva) also acts for the Hydroenergy Association on drafting amendments to the Water Act. The group also provides ongoing regulatory advice to solar power producers. Siyana Veleva is another name to note.
‘We appreciate the extensive and complex experience of the lawyers, their comprehensive knowledge in all legal areas and their well-balanced approach to each legal issue.’
‘The team is highly experienced, knowledgeable and efficient in their work. They are very communicative and take care of their client’s interests.’
‘Our closest contact is Adriana Nacheva, who is one of the partners in the firm, and also Mrs. Siyana Veleva, a senior attorney-at-law at the firm. They are very skilful and experienced professionals.’
BAGGERMAATSCHAPPIJ BOSKALIS B.V
Energy Invest JsC
Hydroenergy Construction Ltd.
Lucky Energy Sole JsC
MVEZ Glojene Ltd.
MVEZ Michailovo Ltd.
OGOSTA B.E. Ltd.
Solar Power Park Ltd.
Venture Equity Bulgaria JsC
- Representing Belvi, a hydroelectric power producer, in an appeal against the withdrawal of its water usage permit.
- Assisting Energy Invest with the proposed €3m sale of a wind farm.
- Acted for VEZ Svoghe, a hydroelectric power producer, in appealing the 2016-2012 River Basin Management Plan.
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski advises businesses on their contractual relationships with energy providers, including drafting power purchase agreements, preparing for energy efficiency audits, and advising on legislative changes to the energy market. Practice co-head Irina Tsvetkova has acted for renewable and fossil-fuel energy companies on planned projects, public tenders, and licensing processes, and fellow co-head Aleksandar Aleksandrov is a member of the Bulgarian Natural Gas Association and has advised on infrastructure projects, mergers, and regulation in the gas industry.
‘They have a very dynamic, goal-oriented and hands-on approach.’
Japan Tobacco International Bulgaria EOOD
VEZ SVOGHE AD
Compagnie Des Hotels De Luxe
DB Cargo Bulgaria
- Advised Japan Tobacco International Bulgaria on the requirements for a mandatory energy efficiency audit.
- Assisted DB Cargo Bulgaria with entering into a power purchase agreement with Energo-Pro.
- Advised Vez Svoghe, a hydroelectric power plant operator, on amendments to the water usage permit process.