Europe & Eurasia Energy News Articles for August 2

Weekly collection of energy news articles for the region.  Click on the links for access to original publications.                                                                      

                                                                  

Albania

Albania's oil is heavy and needs special facilities to process - The otherwise plain rolling hills south of the central Albanian city of Fier are remarkable for two main reasons. First, the fascinating Greco-Roman ruins of Apollonia and Byllis, the latter spectacularly set above a bend in the river Vjosa and beneath the lowering mountains. Second, the nodding-donkey oil pumps dotted over the grey-green landscape - for this is the heart of the Albanian oil industry.  Over the past half-decade, the Albanian hydrocarbons sector has undergone something of a revival (even though the suggestion that such a thing would exist would prompt guffaws in some less-informed quarters)… 

Albania's Deputy PM inaugurated Carshova power plant in Permet - Albania's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy, Edmond Haxhinasto inaugurated Çarshova power plant in Permet, with a capacity of 1.5 megawatts and an approximate cost of euro 1.5 million.  Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy praised the work done by investors in this plant, noting that it is an important investment for all the country and for the area in particular… 

Albanian co Erma launches 1.5 mln euro HPP Carshova - econ min - TIRANA (Albania), August 1 (SeeNews) - Albanian company Erma launched a new 1.5 mln euro ($1.8 million) hydro power plant in the south of the country, the economy ministry said.  The 1.5 megawatt hydro power plant is located in the municipality of Carshova, near Permet, the economy ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday…

Bulgaria

Bulgarian PM suggests holding Belene NPP referendum, parliamentary elections on one day - Sofia. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov suggests holding a referendum on Belene nuclear power plant and the parliamentary elections on one day in order to save money. Borisov made the proposition at the government’s meeting, reads the transcript from the meeting which is available at the government’s website in Bulgarian… 

Bulgarian Power Distributors to Share Renewables 'Burden' – Watchdog Chair - Angel Semerdzhiev, Chair of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), has said that the practice of placing the entire financial burden of renewable energy with the National Electric Company (NEK) will be terminated.  Speaking at a Tuesday press conference, he explained that a new methodology was being prepared under which all power distributors would be burdened with the cost of renewable energy… 

Rejected Fuel Sector Cartel in Bulgaria Sparks Mixed Reactions - Bulgaria's Commission on Protection of Competition (KZK) is an independent body and fuel prices are determined by the trends on international markets and the value of the US dollar, according to Energy and Economy Minister Delyan Dobrev.  In a Tuesday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) Dobrev commented the decision of the anti-trust watchdog stating that there is no fuel market cartel and wholesale prices of fuels do not need to be published… 

Bulgaria Should Better Put on Hold New Power Plants - Bulgaria should better take a wait-and-see position before taking a final decision on the construction of its second nuclear power plant in Belene as there’s no investor for the project, said Angel Semerdjiev, head of the country’s energy watchdog – State Energy and Water Regulatory Committee (DKEVR.) Whatever power plant starts operating in Bulgaria now it will hardly be able to sign a long-term export contract that will guarantee sales of the generated electricity unlike the three Maritsa-Iztok hydropower plants where the US holds the majority share, Semerdjiev explained. DKEVR will try to revise some of the clauses in these contracts, if possible… 

Bulgaria plans further cuts in solar incentives - Bulgaria plans to cut guaranteed rates for electricity generated from new solar power parks by an average of 30 percent from September after halving the feed-in tariffs in late June, the energy regulator said on Thursday.  The State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission will seek the reductions as a solar boom fuelled by generous guaranteed rates threatens to boost consumer prices and strain the power grid in the European Union's poorest country…

 

Bosnia

Bosnia region picks RWE unit as best bidder for hydro project - The energy ministry of Bosnia's Serb Republic said on Friday it had shortlisted RWE Innogy, a unit of German utility RWE, to build four hydro-power plants on the Drina river with a combined capacity of 238 megawatts.  The company was among three bidders - which also included Greek state-run utility PPC and China International Water and Electric Corp - that placed bids for a 51 percent stake in the 450 million euros ($553.5 million) project… 

WWF: Poor energy policy is destroying Neretva delta - The global non-governmental organisation for nature conservation, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), warned on Tuesday that the planned construction of hydroelectric power plants in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina would adversely affect the Neretva river basin and delta and the population living by the river.  The WWF coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zoran Mateljak, said at a press conference in Zagreb that the construction of hydroelectric power plants Dubrovnik II, Ombla and Dabar-Gornji Horizonti would cause salinisation of the delta and total disappearance of agricultural production in that area… 

SMART BUILDINGS South-East Europe - The international exhibition SMART BUILDINGS will be held for the first time parallel with the 9th Congress and Exhibition on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE & RE) for South-East Europe.  The concept of “Intelligent Buildings” quickly gained popularity and is associated with energy saving, healthy environment, ecology, comfort and security. “Smart / intelligent” buildings meet the utmost needs of residents and respond appropriately to different weather conditions. Today building automation systems and advanced building technologies are widely used in almost all areas of life thanks to strategic partnerships between software developers and providers of communications services and hardware…

 

Croatia

Croatia confirms plans for new LNG terminal in 2016 - Croatia plans to build its own liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the northern Adriatic and hopes to have it up and running in 2016, Deputy Prime Minister Radimir Cacic told an energy conference on Tuesday.  "The investment's value is expected to be 600 million euros ($755 million) and we hope to get 25 percent of the money from European Union development funds," said Cacic, who is also the economy minister… 

WWF warns Croatia, Bosnia over hydropower plan risks - Conservation group WWF warned Croatia and Bosnia they risked harming wildlife and farm output by building planned hydropower schemes in their southern regions without proper research and said it would notify EU officials and potential investors.  Croatia and representatives of the Bosnian autonomous Serb Republic agreed this month to jointly build a 300-megawatt hydroelectric plant on Bosnia's Trebisnjica river near the Croatian Adriatic coast city of Dubrovnik…

 

Kosovo

Head of Kosovar Energy Union presses for labor protections in World Bank projects - Independent Syndicate of Energy of Kosovo (SPEK) meets with World Bank and U.S. government officials to discuss the effects of a new coal power plant project and the privatization of Kosovo's electricity grid.  Izet Mustafa, head of the Independent Syndicate of Energy of Kosovo (SPEK), met with numerous World  Bank and U.S. government officials to discuss the labor issues arising from ongoing energy projects within Kosovo on a visit to Washington, D.C. sponsored by the Kosovar Institute for Development Policy (INDEP)…

 

Macedonia

FYR Macedonia put into use coal transport system from Brod Gneotino to Suvodol mines - FYR Macedonia's Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski put into use the main coal transport system from Brod Gneotino to Suvodol mines, a (FYR) Macedonian Power Plants (ELEM) project worth EUR 18,6 million, in mine-energy combine (REK) "Bitola" on Saturday.  The coal transport system is 10km long, with a capacity of 3,800 tonnes per hour… 

Macedonian hydropower plant Sveta Petka to start dam filling on Aug 1. - Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski announced that the filling of the dam of the Sveta Petka hydropower plant will start on August 1, a release on the cabinet's website informs. The power plant has an installed capacity of 36.4 MW and will generate 66 GWh of electricity annually. Gruevski added that the plant has already received a permit for test operation and it will launch electricity generation once the dam is filled. State-owned power generation company ELEM comments that the hydropower plant Sveta Petka is the link that will provide optimal use of the hydropower resources of the Treska River…

energy which could allow it to become a regional hub for exchanging experience in using renewable energy.  Mr Amin underlined that in the years to come the issue of renewable and green energy will be an essential global issue…

 

Romania

Romania Seeks $464 Million From Company Stake Sale To Enel - Romania may raise an estimated 377 million euros ($464 million) from the sale of a minority stake in energy company Electrica Muntenia Sud to its owner, Italy’s Enel SpA (ENEL), this year.  The Bucharest-based Cabinet approved a memorandum today to go ahead with the sale of a 13.57 percent stake in the power company to Enel by December, Andrei Zaharescu, a government spokesman said in a phone interview today… 

Biogas Nord Builds First Romania Plant In $8 Million Contract - Biogas Nord AG (BG8), a German company that’s built 350 biogas plants, will construct its first Romanian plant in a 6.6-million euro ($8 million) contract.  The 3-megawatt project, which generates power by burning gas made from organic waste, will be commissioned at the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013, according to a statement from the Bielefeld, Germany-based company… 

MOL stake in Nabucco at risk - Romania, July 31 (UPI) -- The stake held by Hungarian company MOL may be diluted if it backs away from financing the planned version of the Nabucco pipeline, an official said.  The BP-led consortium working in the Shah Deniz II natural gas project in the Azeri waters of the Caspian Sea in June selected Nabucco West as a potential project to transport natural gas to Europe… 

Romania Hidroelectrica cancels power deals - Romania's troubled state-owned power producer Hidroelectrica has cancelled most of the deals under which it sold electricity at below market prices, Economy Minister Daniel Chitoiu said on Wednesday.  Hidroelectrica, which has an installed capacity of 6,400 megawatts and is Romania's cheapest power producer, was declared insolvent last month, plagued by a previous drought and by its highly criticised contracts with a handful of companies that sell most of its output at below-market prices… 

FinMin Georgescu: Gov't approves selling 13.7-pct stake in Electrica Muntenia Sud to Enel - At its meeting on Tuesday, the Government approved selling 13.7-percebt of shares in Electrica Muntenia Sud to the buyer of the initial majority stake, Enel, for 375 million euros, Finance Minister Florin Georgescu said Tuesday.'The Government approved to exercise the sale option for 13.7 percent of the shares in Electrica Muntenia Sud to Enel, the initial buyer of a significant stake in the same company…

 

Serbia

Italy is interested in energy investments in Serbia - Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said in talks with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić in Belgrade that Italy was interested in energy investments in Serbia and that bilateral relations should be promoted further. He emphasized Italy supported Serbia on its EU course and was ready to extend assistance in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. Nikolic thanked Terzi for Italy’s strategic partnership and said that prospects for further development of cooperation were enormous…

 

Armenia

Discussion held on the Armenian energy investments - The Armenian Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan hosted the delegation led by the Russian Federation Duma member of Amur District Gennady Kuznetsov. The head of the Amur regional department of the Armenian Union in Russia Arthur Ghazaryan was also in the delegation.  As “Armenpress” was briefed by the Ministry’s Information and Telecommunication Department, issues on the Armenian community in Blagoveshchensk and the Armenian energy investment opportunities with the mediation and support of the Armenian community representatives were discussed in the meeting… 

Caspian conflict may hit Europe's energy ambitions - Europe's plans to build pipelines to the gas-rich Caspian region may be seriously hampered by an escalation in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the mountains of Nagorno-Karabakh, reports Francesco Guarascio from the front line.  Khosrov's farmhouse lies along the 'line of contact' which divides the Azeri Aghdam district from the part of the region occupied by the Armenian army… 

Armenian state bodies submit reports to Government - – Armenian Government launches the discussion on reports for projects and priority issues by the state bodies for the first term this year.   Armenian ministers of Diaspora, Labor and Social Affairs, Healthcare, Culture, Nature Protection, Urban Development, Economy, Finance, Transport and Communication, Energy and Natural Resources and Justice, as well as heads of the State Committee of Real Estate Cadaster, State Revenue Committee, General Department of Civil Aviation, and State Nuclear Safety Regulatory Committee, made reports on works done and their outcome for the first term of this year, governmental press service informs… 

Russia focuses on gas - Armenian and Russian media have been spreading rumours this month about Gazprom (Russia) and the Armenian Ministry for Energy and Natural Resources planning to increase prices for Russian gas supplies to Armenia. Gazprom plans to set new gas prices on October 1. The price for 1000 cubic meters of gas will increase from $180 to $280…

 

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan to increase use of alternative energy to 20% before 2020 - Preparations for the program on development of Azerbaijani alternate energy sources and technologies will be ready in November, as stated by Akim Badalov, head of the State Company for Alternate and Renewable Energy Sources, at a presentation of the plan for alternate and renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, Trend reports.   Alternate energy sources will cover 20% of energy production before 2020… 

Azerbaijan expects peak investment in alternative energy in 2015 - Azerbaijani Energy Ministry prepares wind cadastre ... The purpose of the energy policy of Azerbaijan in 2020 is to bring the share of alternative ... 

Programs on alternative energy development for each region of Azerbaijan to be presented in November - Baku, Fineko/abc.az. Today in Baku State Company on Alternative and Renewable Energy established by decree of Azerbaijani President from 1 June 2012 has held presentation seminar of the draft Plan of Measures on use of alternative and renewable energy sources and energy efficiency for 2013-15.  At the presentation the Company Director Akim Badalov said that the plan was made on the basis of alternative energy potential and development scheme analysis in the country… 

National experts : solar energy can fully replace traditional energy in Azerbaijan - Baku, Fineko/abc.az. Azerbaijani experts highly estimate Plan of measures on use of alternative and renewable energy sources and energy efficiency for 2013-15 presented yesterday  by State Company on Alternative and Renewable Energy. In their opinion, solar energy can almost fully replace traditional (hydrocarbon) energy in the country.  The article is disseminated only on condition of close subscription. Please, if you are interested, contact with marketing service of Fineko news agency… 

Azerbaijan doubts pipeline for Turkmen gas to be built soon - Azerbaijan does not plan to invest in building a Transcaspian pipeline to pump gas from Turkmenistan to Europe and does not expect the link to be built soon although it supports the project, the energy minister said.  The European Commission is in negotiations with Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan on the proposed pipeline, part of a planned series of links called the Southern Corridor that is designed to reduce European Union dependence on Russian gas imports… 

Azerbaijan to stop supply of natural gas in the country - Baku, Fineko/abc.az. The Plan of Measures on use of alternative and renewable energy sources and energy efficiency for 2013-15 presented by State Company on Alternative and Renewable Energy today, contains prospects that natural gas will become unpurchaseable for the country consumers.  According to the Plan, in 2013-15 State Company will provide connection of biogas to the network designed for natural gas… 

TAP assures commitment to Caspian natural gas -  The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) consortium defended itself after Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev’s statement earlier this week favoring the rival Nabucco West project in the multibillion dollar bid to carry Caspian gas to Europe.  “We remain fully confident that TAP offers the best commercial, technical and strategic advantages to the Shah Deniz Consortium and the Azerbaijani government as well as to European energy consumers,” TAP said in a statement, adding that Aliyev is not directly involved in the pipeline route selection process… 

Azerbaijan State Company on Alternative Energy announced first personnel recruitment - Baku, Fineko/abc.az. State Company on Alternative and Renewable Energy established by Decree №643 of President of Azerbaijan from 1 June 2012 has announced first personnel recruitment.   The State Company Directorate says that it needs young specialists aged 22-25 with higher education for technology engineer position, specialists on automated management systems, on electric energy systems and networks, on automated management system software…

 

Georgia

Construction of Aragvi HPP starts in Georgia - Construction of Aragvi Hydro Power Plant (HPP) over the White Aragvi River started in Eastern Georgia, Georgian Energy Ministry said.  Construction company "Peri" is constructing the HPP on order of JSC Energo Aragvi.  Under the project, the annual output by the HPP will hit 50 million kilowatt hours… 

Georgia wants to attract Japanese companies to build Namahvani hydroelectric power plant - Georgia is trying to attract the interest of both the Japanese government and business circles towards the on-going large scale construction projects in Georgia, primarily in the energy sector.  After Korean and then Turkish companies refused to finance the construction of the Namahvani hydroelectric power plant, the Georgian government submitted a proposal to Japanese business to finance its construction. This project includes a cascade of the hydroelectric plant Nenskra, which was to be built by the Chinese company Sinogidro… 

Strait Oil and Gas to Start Producing in Georgia by the End of 2012 - Strait Oil and Gas Ltd. (SOG) is  to start the production of gas in Georgia by the end of 2012 and oil in 2013. The company said that it has invested USD 25 million in its business. SOG has agreed to sell produced gas to the Georgian Industrial Group, while oil products will be exported from Batumi or Supsa. “I would assume that you will soon move to energy independence,” Alan Hitchins, CEO of SOG, said in an exclusive interview with The FINANCIAL… 

Russian political analysts familiarised with Georgia’s energy projects - Georgian and Russian political analysts have become acquainted with the on-going reforms in the energy sector of Georgia.  First Deputy Energy Minister Mariam Valishvili and Deputy Minister Giorgi Kavelashvili discussed the reforms with political scientists, the Georgian Energy Ministry said on Thursday… 

Kazakh KazTransGas intends to get back its management in Georgian assets - Kazakh 'KazTransGas' is in talks with the Georgians to get back its management in the KazTransGas-Tbilisi company, an anonymous source in the Kazakh company told Trend on Tuesday. "KazTransGas intends to get back its management in 'KazTransGas-Tbilisi'. At present negotiations are underway on this issue with the Georgian side," the source said…

 

Russia

 Gazprom energy giant ranked 1st on Forbes most profitable list - Russian energy giant Gazprom overtook U.S.-based energy major ExxonMobil in 2011 to become the world’s most profitable company, according to the latest edition of Forbes magazine published on Monday, July 30, RIA Novosti said.  Gazprom netted $44.46 billion in profits last year, compared to $41.6 billion generated by ExxonMobil, which was the world’s most profitable company in 2010… 

Russia Should Maintain State Control of Continental Shelf – Dvorkovich - Russia’s continental shelf with its gigantic oil and gas reserves should remain under state control during exploration and development work, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Thursday.  “I believe state control during shelf development should remain,” Dvorkovich, who is in charge of the fuel and energy sector in the Russian government, said… 

Russia Must Prepare for Energy Revolution – Medvedev - Russia must prepare for a possible energy revolution which could significantly reduce global demand for oil and gas, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday.  “We should remember that an energy revolution occurs in the world every 50-70 years and it is not yet known where we’ll find ourselves with our hydrocarbons when this period lapses, and whether we’ll be of interest to anyone. We need to work,” Medvedev told a government meeting on Thursday… 

The Russian gas giant that haunts Europe – and Israel - Visiting Russian leader Valdimir Putin last month reportedly proposed bilateral energy cooperation, but a Haifa University expert warns that partnerships with the state-owned company are not of equals. About a month ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin made his historic visit to Israel… 

Russia aims to up energy production - Russian energy company Gazprom said it aims to increase production at one of the largest natural gas fields in the country with the installation of new wells.  Gazprom announced it completed construction and installation of 42 additional wells at the Cenomanian deposit of the Zapolyarnoye field in the northern Yamal-Nenets autonomous area… 

Russia Equity Movers: Federal Grid, Surgut, Transneft, Uralkali - The 30-stock Micex Index (INDEXCF) tumbled 1.3 percent to 1,415.38 by the close in Moscow.

The following were among the most active equities in the Russian market today. Stock symbols are in parenthesis… 

RusHydro Increases Electricity Generation from Hydro by 2.8% in the 1st Half of 2012 - JSC RusHydro (ticker symbol: MICEX-RTS, LSE: HYDR; OTCQX: RSHYY) announces the operating results for the 2nd quarter and the 1st half of 2012.  The total electricity generation by power plants of RusHydro and its subsidiaries amounted to 57,377 GWh, a 4.4% increase as compared to 2011. The hydropower plants of RusHydro increased electricity generation by 2.8% to 40,351 GWh. In the 2nd quarter 2012, the total electricity generation increased by 3% to 28,702 GWh… 

Can Russian Hydro Solve China's Power Shortfall? - As industrialisation and urbanisation enable the Asian economy to develop faster than ever before, the centre of world consumption is quickly shifting east to Asia. Among the Asian economies, China has emerged as the largest energy consumer given its tremendous development in manufacturing and infrastructure. Today, China's share in the world's energy consumption has reached 30% and continues to grow. This growth needs to be supported not only by resources from within China, but also by efficient energy solutions provided by China's neighbours…

 

Turkey

TURKEY : GE implements 10MW wind power project - GE Energy Financial Services has completed the implementation of a new wind farm, the Karadag Wind Power Plant in the city of Izmir, Turkey. Implementation was carried out through the GE unit's joint venture with GAMA Holding, GAMA Enerji.  The joint venture's second project in Turkey, the 10MW wind farm, using four 2.5MW GE turbines commenced production of electricity on 4 July 2012… 

Turkey: Meeting energy demands - Faced with rising energy consumption, Turkey’s government has moved to meet growing demand by sealing a key gas pipeline deal with neighbouring Azerbaijan and stepping up efforts to diversify its power sources away from hydrocarbons imports.  In late June, Turkey finalised an agreement to construct a $7bn Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline (TANAP) that will carry gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field to European markets. The pipeline will provide Turkey with access to approximately 6bn cu metres of gas each year… 

Turkish Delight: Anatolia Energy Antes Up Further into Turkey's Dadas Shale - When Anatolia Energy (TSX.V: AEE) began the month of June, they already had a significant interest in the underdeveloped, high-potential Silurian Dadas Shale, primarily located in southern Turkey. Exiting June, the company made a splash by committing further to the Dadas by securing three new licenses, adding a contiguous area of 366,990 gross acres (183,495 net) immediately adjacent to the company’s previous existing Antep block, within which Anatolia is slotted for a 50% interest (shared with multi-billion dollar private partner… 

RWE’s Turkish Power Plant Expected To Start On Time, Turcas Says - RWE AG (RWE), a German power generator and distributor, and partner Turcas Petrol AS (TRCAS) expect the commercial operations of their gas-fired power plant in western Turkey to begin on time, Turcas Chief Executive Officer Batu Aksoy said.The 775-megawatt plant in Denizli province is having its turbines and generators tested and will start up at the end of December as planned, Aksoy said in a telephone interview… 

Turkey: weaning off Iranian oil - Six months of intense pressure from Washington to persuade Turkey to reduce its oil imports from Iran have apparently paid off.Figures released on Tuesday by Turkey’s state statistics office TUIK indicate that of the 1.87m tonnes of crude Turkey imported in June only 684,000 tonnes – 37 per cent came from Iran…

 

Ukraine

Ukraine Stored 15 Billion Cubic Meters Of Gas, Unian Says - Ukraine has 15 billion cubic meters of natural gas in storage as of Aug. 1, Unian news agency reported, citing Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Boyko… 

Ukraine to triple solar power capacity in 2012 - Ukraine in 2012 will increase the capacity of solar power plants by 400 MW, to 600 MW, forecasts Macquarie Research on the basis of information from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, Germany's Solarbuzz and other sources.  According to the analysts, Ukraine by 2016 will construct and commission new PV facilities with a total capacity of 1.8 GW, which is almost equivalent to the capacity of two nuclear reactors… 

Ukraine, China sign $3.7 bil loan deal to move power plants from gas to coal - Ukraine's energy and coal industry ministry on Friday signed an agreement with China Development Bank securing a $3.656 billion credit line to help the country switch its power plants over to coal from gas, the ministry said.  As part of the agreement China will offer its technological expertise for the work to be carried out, the ministry said in a statement Friday… 

Ukraine pumped 15 billion cubic meters of gas in storage facilities - As of the beginning of August, Ukraine pumped 15 billion cubic meters of gas in underground storage facilities, the energy and coal industry minister of Ukraine Yuri Boiko told the journalists.  As a reminder, according to the budgeted balance sheet of income and distribution of gas in 2012, Ukraine will need 68.156 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2012… 

Ambassador: "Gas issue" will not be raised before the elections - The gas issue between Ukraine and Russia will be irrelevant before the elections to the Verkhovna Rada, and Russia will not make any offers on this issue, the Russian Ambassador Mikhail Zurabov reported.  He also noted that the gas negotiations might occur after the elections and did not rule out that Russia would offer the same terms to Ukraine as to the countries wishing to cooperate with the Customs Union…