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March 3, 2021

CEZ Group in Romania – consolidated business, long term partner

CEZ Group in Romania is part of CEZ Group and present on the Romanian energy market since 2005 by the privatization of former Electrica Oltenia, the largest Electrica subsidiary in Romania. In 2007, the unbundling was implemented and resulted CEZ Distributie and CEZ Vanzare, supplying energy for 7 counties in the country: Dolj, Gorj, Arges, Mehedinti, Olt, Teleorman and Valcea. During the past 9 years in Romania, CEZ expanded and developed its portfolio by building the largest onshore wind farm in Europe in Dobrogea region in between 2009 – 2012 and by purchasing at the end of 2010 the hydropower system near Resita, Caras Severin, which was completely refurbished by December 2013. Thus, CEZ operations in the country include energy production, distribution and supply.
CEZ Group’s investments in Romania reach 2.2 billion euro and are backed up by an active contribution to the community’s well being. One of the main focuses of the company was the modernization and security of the distribution grid, an objective worth of approximately 50 million euro per year, followed by introducing high standard client services and operational excellence in the renewable energy production activities.
The investment in CEZ Wind Farm alone reached 1.1 billion euro. With an installed capacity of 600 MW, CEZ Wind Farms in Dobrogea region represent altogether the largest wind farm on land in Europe. The construction began in October 2008 and the first of the 240 wind turbines was connected to the grid in June 2010. The efforts of a strong Romanian and international team of specialists were concluded in December 2012, when the wind farms became completely operational. More than the generation of green energy, CEZ Wind Farms also mean 190 km of access roads built in the region, 215 km of underground electrical circuit, 7 substations of 33/110 kV and 1 transformer station of 110/400 kV.  The installed capacity of the CEZ Wind Farms alone bring Romania 10% closer to reaching its green energy generation quota as the European legislation requires.
CEZ endeavor in the renewable energy generation field continued in Caras Severin county where the company purchased and refurbished a hydropower system made of four micro hydropower plants near Resita: CHE Grebla, CHE Crainicel 1, CHE Crainicel 2 and Breazova and the afferent hydro amenities. The system is an excellent blend of art and technique lasting for more than a century in the beautiful landscape of Banat region and proving the breakthroughs of the Romanian engineers in power generation. After a 30 million euro worth refurbishment investment, the installed capacity of the hydropower system increased from 18 MW to approximately 22 MW, including a modern transformer station of 35/110 kV in Grebla and the direct connection to the National Energy System of Brebu Nou and Garâna villages, as well as the supply for the Valiug – Mount Semenic area. Throughout the project, CEZ took a special consideration to the historical value of the old equipment and conserved it in a hydro museum in CHE Grebla.
The distribution grid in Oltenia region also went through important technological revolutions. CEZ invests annually approximately 50 million euro in the electrical grid taking it to the consumers’ standards and needs nowadays. CEZ’ investment program is achieved every year using local companies with local employees and being their main contractor.  One of the flagship investments of the company in Oltenia is Craiova Centru transformer station, initially built in 1979 and refurbished for the first time by CEZ Distributie in 2013. The transformer station serves more than 40% of the people in Craiova, including most important administrative, cultural and commercial entities of the regional capital. CEZ invested more than 6.7 million euro in providing the local community the necessary electrical infrastructure for its medium and long term development, while the project was developed using local work force. Moreover, the company is constantly looking for new technical and financing solutions to provide its consumers with the best quality services and support their individual initiatives. Starting 2012, CEZ successfully applied for European financing to refurbish key transformer stations in Oltenia. By the end of 2014, 7 energy nods in Dolj, Olt, Gorj and Valcea counties will be properly equipped to answer the consumers’ evolving needs under high safety conditions. Projects like SCADA and Smart Metering are conducted by the strong local team of specialists introducing the electrical grid in Oltenia to the new era of energy technology at European standards.
“We see the high potential of the Romanian market and our objective is to consolidate our business portfolio by giving our clients and consumers the services and quality they need and expect. We keep a close eye on the market and the sectors where we can make a positive difference using our know-how and experience”, says Martin Zmelik, Country Manager and President of CEZ Romania Board.
Within the area of operations, CEZ supports the continuous development of the local community. More than 2.5 million euro were already invested by the company in a large range of social responsibility projects, faithfully respecting its mission of being close to the people served by the business. The strategic directions followed in the company’s social responsibility approaches are the education, health, cultural and infrastructure systems, based on the community’s most ardent needs, but also focusing on sustainable long term initiatives with positive impact on the community members. The partnership bounded by CEZ with the community is called “Energie pentru Bine” (Energy for Well Being) and aims to bring the hope for a better life among the people served by the company. Throughout the past 9 years, the company has been supporting, celebrating or mending the disasters together with its clients and consumers, as a natural part of their lives. Among its first long term commitments, CEZ supported the educational projects developed by AIESEC Craiova for the gymnasium and high school children in Oltenia, the high performance of WASHI Karate Club winning gold medals in European and world championships and the ecological education of seven schools in Ramnicu Valcea. In 2013, CEZ introduced young children to the magical world of the fairy-tales taking “Caravana cu Povesti” to the farthest villages in Dolj and Mehedinti counties and opening children’s appetite for lecture and education. The company’s support for the community increased proportionally with the expansion of its portfolio. In Dobrogea region, the business development was backed up by a series of investments in the healthcare and educational system. CEZ opened the Permanent Medical Center in Cogealac commune, refurbished the elementary schools and build a European standard kindergarten in Gradina commune. Together with MaiMultVerde, the company developed a 2 year environmental protection program for the gymnasium and high school pupils in Constanta county. The same year as entering Caras Severin, CEZ became the only commercial partner of the prestigious International Poetry Festival – Gates of the Poetry, a festival already ranking on the 8th place in Europe among similar events at its only 4th edition. Another 3 year partnership was concluded by CEZ with the world known Garana Jazz Festival. A series of schools and kindergartens in Caras Severin also benefited from the company’s support and enjoy a high quality educational act nowadays. Nevertheless, one of the community’s most ardent needs also comes from the public healthcare system. CEZ invested in new medical equipment and provisions in 3 hospitals in Dolj and Caras Severin counties, each serving more than half of the regions’ population. The public’s positive response to the company’s efforts turned certain projects into tradition. One of the already traditional initiatives of CEZ is Maratonul Olteniei, an invitation to the community to choose a healthy life style and blend a quality time with the family with the benefits of practicing sports. Maratonul Olteniei is also one of the projects introducing the concept of volunteering among the company’s employees. CEZ employees become more and more involved in the company’s social responsibility directions and support their implementation.
“We take more than satisfaction from our CSR projects. We learn about the people’s needs and their vision of life, about what it is they need and want from us and how we can stand beside them in this beautiful journey we are taking together”, adds Martin Zmelik. “It is hard to describe the feeling brought by children’s smiles when they discover education or the doctor’s appreciation in front of the newest medical equipment they will start to use or even the artists’ satisfaction of sharing their emotions with the public. This is why for us, Energie pentru Bine is more than a platform, it is a commitment we are taking towards the community for a better life.”

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