Energy plants’ privatisation to start in May – June

March 5th, 2007

resized_shutterstock_504786.jpgMinister of Economy and Commerce, Varujan Vosganian says several investors from Italy, France and Germany have already shown interest their take-over.

BUCHAREST – The privatisation of energy plants Craiova, Turceni and Rovinari is scheduled to start after the completion of the energy strategy working out process, which means May – June 2007, as declared yesterday by Minister of Economy and Commerce, Varujan Vosganian, cited by Mediafax. “The privatisation process of the energy plants will start immediately after working out the energy strategy. We intend to finalise it in May, so that it is undertaken by Government in June, and then we shall immediately start procedures”, according to the Minister.

As Vosganian mentioned, the prospect of starting the privatisation process of the energy plants in Oltenia is appealing for many companies from Italy, France and Germany.

Representatives of the energy companies RWE Power (Germany), Ibedrola (Spain) and Endesa (Spain) affirmed, last week, within a meeting with Minister of Economy, that they were analysing the option of participating in the privatisation process of the three energy producers.

In spite of having been considered for some time, the launch of the privatisation process has been delayed particularly that the institutional situation of the energy plants was ambiguous over the past three months. According to the Minister, although they were transferred through Government Ordinance to the Authority responsible for State Assets Resolution (AVAS), the energy plants are still under the administration of Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) until March 31. Recently, AVAS President, Teodor Atanasiu, declared that the three electric energy producing units could become private property until the end of the year.

New feasibility study

MEC will order a feasibility study for the construction of the hydro-power plant, following that the previous study, conducted by the World Bank, established that the project was not needed and it required too high funds, according to Minister Vosganian.

According to MEC estimations, should they start this year, the works would take eight years, the accomplishment of the project being one of the terms set in the strategy for attracting investments in the construction of units three and four at Cernavoda nuclear-electric plant, because it will secure the equilibration of the energy sector after the two reactors becoming operational. The works at the two reactors will start in the first part of 2008 and they could be completed in 2014 – 2015, the total value of the project being estimated to EUR 2.2 bln.

Prosecutor’s office decision

Referring to the situation of the energy supply contracts, which has animated the political arena all through the year, Vosganian declared that all the energy supply contracts have been conveyed to County Supreme Defence Council (CSAT), which may have them sent to the Prosecutor’s Office. And the Prosecutor’s Office, according to the Minister, was the only institution authorised to check whether the understandings have complied with the law and whether the publication of the contracts was needed.

“All contracts were conveyed to CSAT, which may have them sent to the Prosecutor’s Office. I can do this if I receive a request from the Prosecutor’s Office, because otherwise, any tentative that would come from me to approach the contracts on selective basis would result in never ending trials, because it is not the price that counts within the contract unless there is a context: what quantity, what type of consumer, etc. (…) Not having termination of declassification clauses, it appears to me that we trying to solve a problem by producing others. Anything required from the authorised institutions shall be made available by me”, according to Minister of Economy.

by Raluca Stoica
published in issue 3884 page 9 at 2007-03-05

Source: Nineo’Clock

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