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February 9, 2023

Hidroelectrica denies abuse of dominant position allegations, says high power prices prompted by surge in demand

Hidroelectrica’s energy sales on the power exchange were at the market price and the company did not abuse its dominant position since it acted on the market at the request of the national energy dispatch center, in full compliance with the law, chairman of the Hidroelectrica board of directors Ovidiu Agliceru told Agerpres on Tuesday.

This reaction follows the initiation by the National Energy Regulatory Authority and the Competition Council of an investigation on into the power exchange, over suspicions that two companies have manipulated the market by abusing their dominant position. The allegations revolve around the country’s largest energy producers Hidroelectrica and the Oltenia Energy Complex, which have sold in this period energy for very high prices.

“We sold energy only at the market price and under competitive conditions. It was only on the competitive market and under competitive and transparent conditions. We sold all available power on the Day-ahead market under bilateral contracts and of course there have been overruns on the balancing market, but that doesn’t depend on us. So we sold all available power,” Agliceru explained.

Asked about his opinion of the current power prices that are twice higher than at the beginning of the year, he replied: “These are the market prices, we didn’t build them. That’s how they formed by the law of demand and supply. When the price of hydropower was 1 leu, no one inquired about that. Prices naturally increased now, when demand for energy is much higher than the supply. It’s a market mechanism. It’s the market that determined the evolution of the prices.”

Prices on the spot market of the OPCOM energy exchange these days hit record highs of over 600 lei per MWh, twice the prices in the early days of the year.

On January 15 and 23, 2017 Romania registered the highest electricity price in Europe at 74.92 euro per MWh, and 96.52 euro per MWh, respectively, according to data released on the website of Romania’s electricity and natural gas operator OPCOM.

This month, the highest price in Europe was in Hungary at 300 euro per MWh.

Futures price quotes for power this January are at 168 lei per MWh.


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