IMF pushes for Electrica sell

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not very interested in seeing Romania replacing inefficient thermal power plants with new units through privatizations, but it puts “certain pressure” on the privatization of state-owned company Electrica, Alexandru Sandulescu, director within the Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Business Environment (MECMA), stated yesterday for Mediafax. He added that unlike private companies, state-owned energy companies do not put pressure on the costs that customers shoulder.

“What would we accomplish by privatizing Electrica? The comparison between state-owned and private companies would disappear. We have many complaints referring to companies that made their costs more efficient in order to obtain profits,” Sandulescu added.

At the same time, the IMF insists on the privatization of the Oltenia Energy Centre, a company whose creation was approved by the government on October 12 through the merger of the Oltenia National Brown Coal Company, the Turceni Energy Centre, the Craiova Energy Centre and the Rovinari Energy Centre. The government meeting that took place on October 12 also approved the creation of the Hunedoara Energy Centre that will consist of the Paroseni and Mintia thermal power plants and the profitable mines belonging to the National Mineral Coal Company.

In other developments, the European Commission has informed the Economy Ministry that it no longer agrees to co-finance a EUR 127 M programme for gas treating processes within thermal power plants, despite the fact that the Romanian Government green-lighted the state aid scheme back in 2008, Sandulescu added.

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