Foreign companies, including Lukoil from Russia and National Power from the United Kingdom, are showing interest in the privatization of Bulgarian power plants. The interest was expressed during discussions with the prime minister, Reuters reports.

Bulgaria has pledged to privatize its power industry by 2010. It will start by selling 22 small hydropower plants this year. These plants are controlled by the National Electricity Co.

An energy sector restructuring plan, a precondition for a deal with the International Monetary Fund, was due to be completed last month. The NEC produces 90 per cent of Bulgaria’s electricity.