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CMS and King & Spalding have successfully represented ACF Renewable Energy Limited – a JV between ACWA Power, Blackrock, and Crescent Capital – in an ICSID case against Bulgaria for the breach of fair and equitable treatment under the Energy Charter Treaty, concerning the 61-megawatt Karadzhalovo photovoltaic plant built in 2012.

CMS has advised Global Biomet on the EUR 50 million financing for the Aratiden PV project in Bulgaria granted by UniCredit Bulbank. CMS also advised on the project's two EPC contracts, with Green Solar Energy for substations and grid connection, and with Rashev & Co for the PV section.

In The Debrief, our Practice Leaders across CEE share updates on recent and upcoming legislation, consider the impact of recent court decisions, showcase landmark projects, and keep our readers apprised of the latest developments impacting their respective practice areas.

One of the significant questions concerning ESG issues is the cost of transitioning to a more sustainable business environment. Will it result in increased financing costs and restricted access to new borrowing, or will it, on the contrary, lead to the development of new market segments and gradual change? While we cannot provide definitive answers to these questions, in this article, we will examine five ESG drivers and regulatory changes that will be pivotal in 2024. From the introduction of the New Green Asset Ratio to the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD/CS3D), we will explore the conditions associated with these new requirements and the potential penalties for non-compliance.

Dentons and Boyanov & Co have advised UniCredit Bulbank, Raiffeisen Bank International, the United Bulgarian Bank, and Eurobank Bulgaria on the financing for the construction and operation of a 160-megawatt solar plant in Maglizh, in the Stara Zagora region of Bulgaria. Stoeva Tchompalov & Znepolski reportedly advised the borrowers.

Earlier this month, Bulgaria’s Competition Protection Commission (CPC) unveiled its strategic priorities for 2024, identifying sectors and activities that warrant increased regulatory scrutiny. These priorities will guide the CPC’s operational functions, which include market monitoring, signal verification, the initiation of administrative proceedings, market investigations, and ongoing enforcement actions.

Having a somewhat steady Government and Parliament since mid-2023 has led to more predictability in the Bulgarian regulatory environment for renewables. In October 2023, some important and significant changes to the RES Act entered into force, thus solidifying local support for renewable energy.

Deal activity (both in terms of value and volume) dropped at the end of 2023 and the start of 2024. This is hardly surprising considering the overall unstable international environment and the variety of destabilizing factors at play. Regardless, we see signs of recovery.

Bulgaria Knowledge Partner

Schoenherr is a leading full-service law firm providing local and international companies stellar advice that is straight to the point. With 15 offices and 4 country desks Schoenherr has a firm footprint in Central and Eastern Europe. Our lawyers are recognised leaders in their specialised areas and have a track record of getting deals done with a can-do, solution-oriented approach. Quality, flexibility, innovation and practical problem-solving in complex commercial mandates are at the core of our philosophy.

Firm's website: www.schoenherr.eu

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