SOFIA, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Bulgaria's state-owned energy holding company BEH will seek a five-year syndicated loan of up to 650 million euros ($723 million) to pay money due to two U.S. thermal power producers operating in the country, the energy minister said on Friday.
"We hope we will receive very good credit conditions from banks, which will be in the interest of the BEH and the Bulgarian energy sector," Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said.
The ministry signed a deal in April which called for the payments to be made to AES and ContourGlobal by the end of June in return for the two companies to lower the price of electricity they produce.
Petkova said debt-ridden state power provider NEK, a subsidiary of BEH, owes nearly 900 million levs ($512.5 million) to the two U.S. firms.
She expressed concern that the debt might increase given that finding banks would take at least a month and a half.
She said that state guarantees would not be assigned to BEH or NEK.
Bulgaria's energy regulator has already approved the agreed power purchasing agreement between the U.S. power companies and NEK. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by Jason Neely)