Italy’s Enel has acquired the remaining 40% of Maritza East III Power Holding and 100% of Maritza O&M Holding Netherlands from Entergy for a total of €47.5 million, bringing its stake to 73% of both Maritza East III Power Company, which owns one of the largest thermal plants in the country, and Maritza East III Operating Company, which operates and maintains the 840 MW lignite-fired facility.

Enel already held 60% of the holding company, which held a majority stake in the plant near Stara Zagora, in south-eastern Bulgaria, which it bought from Entergy in 2003.

Fulvio Conti, Enel chief executive, remarked: “The increase in our stake in Maritza East III strengthens our position in Bulgaria, a key market for Enel’s growth in Central and Eastern Europe, where we intend to expand further, both in generation and power infrastructure.”

The remaining 27% of both Bulgarian companies is still owned by NEK, the Bulgarian national electricity company.