AES Bulgaria – keeping the lights on during the COVID-19 crisis

14.04.2020

Serving the communities where we operate has always been an important priority for AES. Ever since we began operating in Bulgaria we have also actively partnered with national and local authorities to deliver projects that improve people’s quality of life, supporting education, modernizing healthcare and infrastructure. AES has invested more than BGN 14 million in community-oriented projects in recent years, becoming the largest contributor in the region of Galabovo.

The far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic puts into focus the importance of essential services to help ensure continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. A reliable electricity supply is among them. Living in the 21st century we cannot imagine daily life without electricity – when we push the buttons to switch on the TV and the lights in our houses, or when we heat up water for our morning brew. Are we ever conscious of the investment, resources and sheer amount of work that goes into powering so many aspects of our daily life?

AES, the largest investor in the Bulgarian energy sector for the last 30 years, is part of this very important sector of the economy. Supplying reliable energy is our mission – and core to our commitment to Bulgarian society. In the challenging times we are experiencing now, this responsibility is even more important. The uninterrupted supply of energy guarantees that hospitals will continue to operate, and doctors will continue to save lives; and that people now working from home will continue to be able to contribute to economic growth and social welfare. Having this responsibility in mind we are always ready to meet our customers’ needs.

This preparedness is the result of careful planning – starting with the investment of EUR 1.3 billion in the most modern power plant in Bulgaria and the region. We run the plant in accordance with the highest technical standards. We also ensure that our stock reserves are at maximum possible levels, whilst prioritizing safety for our people and contractors. These efforts are visible now more than ever – during the coronavirus crisis. We provide 10% of the energy consumed in the country, every day, every hour. Additionally, during this period of crisis, we have activated our business continuity plan to ensure that our plants will contribute to keeping the lights on in Bulgaria while taking active steps to ensure that our employees stay safe and healthy. All administrative activities are now performed remotely by our people from their homes. We have also implemented special safety measures such as periodic cleaning, social distancing, and limiting access at our operational sites for sensitive activities that cannot be performed remotely.

Hard times test the character and make teamwork more important than ever. We want to share our appreciation and pay respect to our resolute colleagues in the energy sector – from miners to administrators to system operators and plant maintenance teams. By keeping all systems functioning properly and ensuring the electricity stays on, they in turn support all citizens, and not least those in the front line fighting to end the pandemic and save lives.