Romania backs power sector overhaul
The Romanian government has approved plans to overhaul its power sector, which will see two state-run companies - Electra and Hidroenergetica - competing against each other.
Under the initiative, companies such as Nuclearelectrica and Hidroelectrica are expected to run alongside less successful coal-fired thermal generators.
Electra, the first company, will include the coal-fired power plants at Turceni, Rovinari, Craiova, Nuclearelectrica, the National Society of Lignite and three branches of Hidroelectrica - SH Valcea, SH Targu Jiu and SH Sibiu - as well as Hidroservev Ramnicu Valcea, according to local reports.
The second company, Hidroenergetica, will include the Termocentrale-owned branches of Electrocentrale Bucuresti, CET Paroseni and CTE Deva as well as nine branches of Hidroelectrica, including the Portile de Fier hydro plant.
Jean Constantinescu, president of the National Institute for Energy Development Studies (IRE), told ICIS Heren earlier this month that the overhaul would not change matters radically, "remaining simply an extension of the government's long arm" (see EDEM 15 January 2010)
The government began to discuss the change at the start of last year, concerned about energy security in the midst of the financial crisis. The overhaul looks set to kick in within less than six months, although there are some questions over whether the country's competition council will approve this, according to local media. AS
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