Romania seeks to attract foreign partner for integrated energy company

Publish date: 21-11-2007
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The Romanian Government seeks to attract a foreign partner to achieve an integrated state company to re-group the energy production, distribution and transport, in the same way that the privatisation of the Romanian Commercial Bank BCR was achieved, Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu said in a video recorded message on Tuesday to participants in the Energy Forum staged by ForumInvest.

'The integrated company will not become a market colossus, since it will be conceived in such a manner as to hold less than 50 percent of the market. Furthermore, we do not plan to keep it a state property and therefore, we'll list it on the stock exchange, most likely', Tariceanu said.

The prime minister announced that the Government plans to turn Bucharest not only into a regional energy stock exchange, but into a European one as well, in the future.

'In two or three years, the Romanian energy sector will become the most competitive on a regional level', he added.

European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, in this October, criticised the Romanian authorities' announcement that they would set up a national energy company. He said he had not been told about this project which, he believed, might create 'a monster'.

The power company that is to join several non-privatised energy companies and the setting up of which is called for in the Romanian Energy Strategy will not include national electricity transport company Transelectrica and national gas transport company Transgaz.

Tariceanu had said, at the time, he would tell the European energy commissioner to get informed before he criticises the Romanian Government's initiative to establish a big national energy company.

'I'll write a letter to the commissioner and ask him to please get informed before he pronounces in public. I ask him to get informed at the very source, the Government is ready to assist him if he has certain worries in this respect', Tariceanu had said, adding that Piebalgs' comments seemed to him totally ungrounded.

The prime minister also said Romania had the right to develop its own economic branches, like energy or the auto industry.


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