Romania's Transelectrica to invest nearly EUR 1 bn over next 10-15 years

Mar 02, 2009 01:00 AM

Investments by the national electric transport company Transelectrica will total close to EUR 1 bn over the next 10 to 15 years, the company's general director, Adrian Baicusi, was quoted as saying. He also said that 2009 will see the investment projects underway completed from the company's pocket.
"The financing gap that needs to be filled in 2009 is not so wide, as it only amounts to roughly RON 37-40 mm," according to the Transelectrica officials.

Along with kicking off fresh investment projects, the company will have to find financial sources in line with capital costs, with the capital market too being taken into account. The short-term debts owed by Transelectrica come to circa RON 37-40 mm, according to company's officials.
Transelectrica loan paybacks will peak in 2009 and 2010. The short-term debts owed by the power utility came to RON 835.576 mm late last year, and the long-term arrears amounted to RON 1.846 bn. In 2008, Transelectrica posted a net profit of RON 39.342 mm, down RON 21.865 from 2007. The profit decline was especially due to the sharp devaluation of the home currency against the currencies of the loans contracted by the electric transporter.

Transelectrica will pay a gross dividend of RON 0.268 /share at the lowest in 2008. The share capital of the company is divided into 73.303 mm shares with a face value of RON 10/share. The law says that unless the company pays those dividends, it needs to distribute at least 50 % of the profit made.
As of now, 12.8 % of the company stock is traded on the exchange, 13.5 % is owned by the Proprietatea Fund and the remaining of the shares belongs to the state.

Power consumption down 9.6 %, in 2009
The consumption of electric power in Romania fell 9.6 % over the first two months of the year, compared to the similar interval last year, according to Transelectrica.
"This is not a seasonal consequence, but is due to lower consumption," said Adrian Baicusi, who explained that the next two months will be decisive for the power consumption trend in Romania of 2009, and if the downturn in the first half of the year will stabilize over the said interval, then more consumption cuts are likely to be the case. Anyway, the end consumer could end up paying more on electricity this year duet to lower consumption, the Transelectrica financial director, Razvan Purdila, said.

Last December, the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) decided that the price for electricity delivered to home consumers should not be changed, yet set up a revision in the electricity price paid by those consumers who did not opt in favour of switching to another electric power supplier.
Separately, Transelectrica has so far been tendered Aeolian park applications up to 17,600 MW in Dobrogea. Transelectrica has already approved 17,600 MW worth of preliminary connecting agreements for Aeolian parks in Dobrogea. Baicusi however held the figure as not sustainable and some projects as nothing but real estate speculations.

Layoffs against modernisations
The president an general director at Transelectrica, also said that, along with power stations automated electric power transport lines, the company will also cut do the number of yes employees. Baicusi said that some of the staff will be sent into retirement, others, retrained, as the programme will be long-term.
During the first tree months of the year 2008, the company had an average number of employees of 2,186, according to the BVB data.

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