Energy Minister: Hidroelectrica on track for listing, most probably in 2018

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Hydropower corporation Hidroelectrica will be listed most probably next year, as the project to this end is currently under public debate, Energy Minister Toma Petcu told a conference on major investments in Romania on Monday.

“I think bringing back into discussion Hidroelectrica’s listing is a success of the Energy Ministry and of the government of Romania. It sends investors and the Romanian capital market a signal that the government is headed for transparency and performance in relation with state-owned companies,” Petcu said.

For now, Hidroelectrica’s listing is under public debate, so that we’ll talk about the effective listing most probably in 2018, Petcu said, adding that investments in the company continue.

“For example, the company estimates that the contract for the re-engineering of the Vidraru hydropower plant – an investment of about 80 million euro – will be put up for bidding by the end of this year,” Petcu also said.

In late September the minister said that the authorities intend to list 10 percent of Hidroelectrica’s stake on the Stock Exchange, compared to 15 percent as initially planned in 2014.

“We have changed the stake from 15 to 10 percent, we’ll issue a Government resolution in connection with this. We move at a faster pace, and we are interested in this listing from two perspectives. In the first place, this company is placed on the market for the indices to be clear to see, not just stock exchange indices, but the other indices as well, for us to permanently see how the company fares financially and on the market,” Petcu explained.

In the second place, the minister added, all the money raised in the listing stays with the company.

“We want the amount obtained, a quite substantial one according to our estimates, to be used for the company’s development. Hidroelectrica has been restructured (…) by let’s say, setting aside investments in maintenance, upgrading, re-engineering. These three elements are very important because although Hidroelectrica’s total production capacity is 6,400 MW, in reality it cannot produce more than 3,000 – 3,500 MW. It means that the rest of the capacity left unused must be re-engineered, upgraded to start producing and bring added value to the company. This is our top goal,” the Energy Minister said.