Dozens of energy sector experts met in Bucharest at the PRIA Energy Conference, on Tuesday, July 5. It was an interactive event which tried to bring together ideas, solutions and proposals for the improvement of the Romanian energy market and, at the same time, a good opportunity to engage in networking and to meet future partners or to keep in touch with current partners.
The main topic of discussion at the event, debated by energy industry leaders and visionaries, representatives of state authorities and of the scientific community, private sector representatives and community leaders, was, of course, Romania’s Energy Strategy 2016-2030. Likewise, there were intense discussions about energy security, energy independence, regional and global geopolitical challenges, the transformation of the energy system and future trends, biomass and about the problems that renewable energy producers are facing in Romania.
In an increasingly globalised economy, a country’s energy strategy is devised against the backdrop of global developments and changes. Romania has a diversified but quantitatively-reduced range of primary energy reserves: oil, natural gas, coal, uranium ore, as well as a relatively modest renewable resources potential.
The speakers present at the event were: Corina Popescu – Secretary of State, Energy Ministry; Francesco Fanciulli – Prysmian, CEO, CEE region; Silvia Vlasceanu – Director General, ACUE; Valentin Mircea, head of Premier’s Audit Body; Razvan Purdila – Manager, Transelectrica; Carmen Neagu – CEO, Energobit; Sorin Gal – Director General, ANRM; Gabriel Istoc – General Manager, B-Team Consult & Services.
Energy Ministry Secretary of State Corina Popescu said that the development of Romania’s Energy Strategy 2016-2030 is on schedule, and in the period immediately ahead the Energy Ministry will select a consultant for the mathematical modelling of the data collected from public consultations.
“Our planned development of the energy strategy is on schedule. In the period immediately ahead, we will complete selecting a consultant for quantitative modelling,” Popescu said at the debate.
She added that the strategy will comprise guidelines to be followed by the energy sector as well as targets for the renewable energy sector and that will be detailed in national plans to be drawn up later.
Silvia Vlasceanu, ACUE: “Do not hope that once the Energy Strategy is adopted all energy sector problems will be resolved”
However, Silvia Vlasceanu, Executive Director of the Association of Energy Utilities (ACUE), drew attention to the fact that the Energy Strategy will not solve all the problems currently facing the energy sector and that it will be “very general.”
“I understand it will be very general, it will just point the way without going into details that some probably expect from a strategy. (…) Do not hope that once the Energy Strategy is adopted all energy sector problems will be resolved – natural gas, heating and all related domains. Moreover, I understand that the national plans will follow, which will be more detailed, but there will be another kind of effort that the market and operators and all those present here will have to make in order to help the drafting of these plans,” Vlasceanu stated. She added that, based on her experience, she knows that the more numerous the persons and associations consulted are the more difficult it will be to draft such a project in order for it to please everyone.
The Energy Ministry has put up for public consultation the reports of five working sessions, conducted March 9 – April 14, 2016, that integrate usual information from consultations at the qualitative analysis stage of the Romanian energy system that sum up the proposals of nearly 300 specialists who attended the working sessions. The reports provide development trends as well as political and economic restrictions that have to be taken into account when drawing up the “Energy Strategy of Romania 2016-2030 with an extension to the year 2050.” At this stage, the reports of the working sessions are not construed as signifying the strategic commitment of the Energy Ministry.
At the conference, Francesco Fanciulli – CEO, CEE Region, Prysmian Group – announced that Prysmian Group, a global leader in the energy and telecommunications cables and systems domain, has opened a new fibre optic cable plant in Slatina. Thus, Slatina becomes one of the centres of excellence in Europe for the manufacturing of optical communications cables. Fanciulli reminded that the plant in Slatina started its activity in the 1970s by manufacturing energy cables. In 2009, the plant started manufacturing fibre optic cables. The new plant, which will have the most advanced technology, will basically contribute to the doubling of production, which will boost the Group’s competitiveness on a continuously developing market.
Likewise, Francesco Fanciulli presented intelligent network systems and integrated energy systems as well as hybrid solutions that support the development of stronger infrastructure: the simultaneous combining of energy and telecommunications solutions.
Valentin Mircea, head of Premier’s Audit Body about the EC inspection at Romgaz, Transgaz and OMV Petrom: “It’s a situation as serious as it can be”
European Commission’s investigation into the Romanian natural gas market is extremely serious and the accusations levied against the three companies probed – Romgaz, Transgaz and OMV Petrom – are very serious in the eyes of the Commission, said Valentin Mircea, head of the Premier’s Audit Body.
“It’s a situation as serious as it can be. It’s not common for the European Commission to conduct, for the first time, an unannounced inspection in Romania. So there certainly were clues, otherwise this inspection would not have taken place,” Mircea said at the debate.
He reminded that the accusations concern the blocking of natural gas sales on the European Union’s internal market.
“It’s no longer called export, it’s called intra-community sales instead, which are of the utmost important for the Commission. So, in a hierarchy of priorities for the European Commission, for DG Competition, market fragmentation cases are always the top priority, regardless of domain, a fact that raises the stake and stress for those investigated,” Mircea pointed out.
He added that the European Commission will send to the companies a preliminary assessment, probably in a few months’ time, and the companies will then be able to try to reach an amiable solution with the Commission, which is the preferable option.
On June 6, European Commission officials carried out unannounced inspections at the headquarters of Romgaz, Transgaz and OMV Petrom, these companies being suspected of reaching agreements in order to block the export of Romanian natural gas toward other EU member states, Agerpres informs. The European Commission points out that these unannounced inspections represent a preliminary step in an investigation.