BUSINESS

Authorities choose listing on the Stock Exchange, over traditional privatisation

The Central bank will raise its inflation forecast because of international prices for food and energy.

The Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Business Environment (MECMA) does not give up its plan to set up the Electra and Hidroenergetica companies, Alexandru Sandulescu, a director with MECMA, said yesterday in a seminar on energy, quoted by HotNews.ro. Though the Bucharest Court of Appeals irrevocably rejected the appeal filed by Nuclearelectrica against the sentence of the Bucharest Tribunal (that opposed the creation of the two companies), the Ministry of Economy envisages several alternate variants that would allow him to go on with its plan, including to set up a number of energy conglomerates.

“A number of requests were made during talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and we promised to come with alternate solutions by the end of the year, if the two energy companies are not set up. The first would be to create the Oltenia energy complex, in the zone where lignite is being mined, which would include the sustainable part of SNLO and the current energy providers of Craiova, Turceni and Rovinari. The other energy complex, still being discussed, would focus on the pit coal mining region and would include parts of CNH, Deva and Paroseni. Additionally, we will separate the viable part of Termoelectrica,” Sandulescu explained.

Referring to the new plans of the ministry, the former CEO of Hidroelectrica, Mihai David rejected the intent to create the two energy conglomerates, also because this is an old project. According to David, the project is 11 years old and he sees no future for the Deva power plant.

According to Sandulescu, the ministry has two more variants under analysis. One of them refers to the privatisation of Hidroelectrica and Nuclearelectrica, but not through the direct sale of majority stakes. The solution is listing minority stakes on the stock exchange, so the state retains a control stake. After the operation, the management of the energy providers would be transferred to private companies. A second variant refers to creating mixed, state-private companies.
In parallel, authorities are also drafting a strategy for the sale of minority and majority stakes in the energy companies that would be part of the giants Electra and Hidroenergetica, as provided by the letter of intent sent by the Romanian Government to the IMF.
In a different move, the National Bank of Romania (BNR) will revise the inflation forecast upwards, as a consequence of higher international prices for food and energy, but the monetary policy is still compatible with economic growth, Governor Mugur Isarescu explained.
david, hidroelectrica:

FP wants to take over energy companies

Investment fund Franklin Templeton, the administrator of the Proprietatea Fund (FP), wants to take over a number of Romanian energy companies where it holds minority stakes, Mediafax reports. So, by opposing the creation of the two national energy companies, the US Ambassador in Bucharest actually took sides with the US-based fund, said Mihai David, member of the Hidroelectrica Board of Administrators (CA).

“Romania’s success in Europe, and its economic recovery, relies upon energy, as well as agriculture. I do not agree with the point of view expressed by US Ambassador Mark Gitenstein (…) He wants to support the administrators of the Proprietatea Fund, which plan to take over a number of energy companies where they hold minority stakes. (…) Such suggestions from abroad no longer can convince anybody, after 21 years. I think we should be very careful,” David warned according to Mediafax.

Primary energy resources down, electricity up

Primary energy resources in the first two months of the year dropped by 1 pc, to 5.35 million tons of oil equivalent (t.o.e.), against the same interval of 2010, while primary energy resources increased by 8.6 pc, to 11.5 billion KWh, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS). Domestic output amounted to a total 3.84 million t.o.e., up 1.5 pc from January-February 2010, while import reached 1.51 million t.o.e., down 6.7 pc.

electricity price goes up, because of financing renewable energy sources
The renewable energy state aid scheme might increase the production price of electricity in Romania by 5-7 pc, according to the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE). “The impact of green certificates in the energy price will reach 5-7 pc this year, up from the current level of 45-47 EUR/MWh,” said the chief of the renewable energy division of ANRE, Radu Regman, in the same seminar.

In a different move, Romania plans to sell its surplus of green certificates to another country, Sandulescu said. The law that supports the production of energy on renewable sources still needs the European Commission’s go-ahead for the state aid scheme based on green certificates.

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