Source: Politika | Tuesday, 25.04.2017.| 10:38
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Serbia imports electricity worth EUR 42 million in first quarter of 2017 – Drop in production by 9.8% recorded

(Photo: Goran Parezanović)
JP Elektroprivreda Srbije imported 848 million kWh of electricity for EUR 42 million in the first quarter of 2017. The biggest amount of electricity was bought in January, around 541 million kWh, for which EUR 29 million had been set aside, they say at EPS, answering Politika's question of how much electricity has been imported since the beginning of the year. The official statistics recorded a drop in production by around 9.8% in the first two months.

In the first quarter, the average purchase price was EUR 49.64 per MWh, whereas the average price in the Hungary amounted to EUR 58.25 in the same period.

The price in January was higher, with EPS paying EUR 53.9 per MWh, and the company points out that electricity cost EUR 81.25 in Hungary at the time.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic recently stated on a TV station that there were problems in coal production, that it was not known when Kostolac would be completed, that there were problems with landslides and that no new strippings had been made. On the other hand, EPS claims that the production of coal and electricity is stable and in line with the plan.

The slightly lower production is down to the long-lasting cold wave of January, which made it difficult to deliver coal from the Kolubara sites to the thermal power plants in Obrenovac.

In the first two months of 2017, nearly seven million tons of coal were produced at the Kolubara and Kostolac sites, the amount fully in line with the plan, the company explains.

As for financial indicators, the preliminary financial result of EPS for 2016, before the property evaluation, is a profit of RSD 17.3 billion, which is the result of implemented measures of financial consolidation.

The company says that increased efficiency and better organization contributed to the savings made in 2016.

The Fiscal Council, on the other hand, called the company “the land mine” of public finance a long time ago. The reforms, as they say, have barely even started, the debts are big, and the investments are insufficient. Prime Minister Vucic also recently pointed out that EPS was in a much worse state than the Fiscal Council thought.

EPS, however, reminds how much it contributes to Serbia's budget. In 2016 alone, the company paid RSD 87.4 billion to the budget, amounting to 8.5% of total budget revenues.

– EPS profited EUR 64.5 million from the difference between the import and export of electricity alone, and the percentage of the collection keeps growing – EPS points out.

The collection amounted to 95.2% in 2016. Losses of electrical energy dropped from 14.02% in 2015 to 12.4% in 2016 and the savings exceeded the plan by RSD 836 million, the company says.

Branko Kovacevic, president of the Supervisory Board of EPS, says that the problems of this public enterprise were presented to the prime minister in a letter sent before the election, but that they've received no response.

He points out that EPS will not have sufficient amounts of electricity until the new 350-MW unit in Kostolac, being built in cooperation with the Chinese, is completed. The unit will be producing around three million tons of coal.

Kovacevic adds that the plan is for 4,800 to leave the public enterprise in the next three years.
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