The coal from the MaritsaIztokBasin is lignite and has been formed in the Neogene. The earliest information about its availability in the area was given by the French geologist AugusteViquesnel (in 1847). Twenty-two years later the Austrian geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter described the coal deposit and made the second (after Ami Boué’s) geology map of Bulgaria as part of theOttoman Empire. In 1872 the Austrian engineer Anton Pelc, in charge of the construction of Baron de Hirsch’s railroad, proved that this coal was a good fuel for the locomotives.
It is brown lignite, soft with low level of organic matter coalification, high ash contents (16% to 45%) and 50% to 60% moisture. Based on its use it falls into two categories:
- ash contents Ad = 25% to 45%;
- average calorific value 1,550 kcal/kg;
- combustible sulphur contents 2.4%
- ash contents Ad=16% to 25%;
- average calorific value 1,750 kcal/kg;
- combustible sulphur contents 1.95%
Due to the specific characteristics of the lignite from the Maritsa Iztok basin, the main consumers of coal produced by Mini Maritsa Iztok EAD are as follows:
Brikel EAD – 200 MW total capacity;
TPP ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3 AD – 908 MW total capacity;
TPP AES Galabovo – 670 MW total capacity.
Its long distance transportation is unprofitable.