Europe & Eurasia Energy News Articles for December 7, 2012

Energy Technology and Governance Program

             

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

 

Albania

CEZ infringements: ERE verifies collective power cuts - Tirana - Power cuts in the area of Kombinat and Mamurras from the company CEZ were considered an infringement by the Albanian Energy Regulatory Entity… Currently, CEZ and the Albanian government are holding talks to settle the issue of the debt between the two sides.


Bosnia and Herzegovina
Serbia takes over OMV gas stations in BiH - Serbia's oil and gas company NIS announced on Friday (November 30th) it has acquired all 28 gas stations owned by Austria's OMV in Bosnia and Herzegovina. No financial details were disclosed. The deal is part of NIS' strategy to expand its presence in the Balkans.…

Bosnia and Herzegovina : OMV sells its marketing subsidiary in Bosnia-Herzegovina - OMV has signed an agreement to sell its subsidiary in Bosnia-Herzegovina, OMV BH d.o.o, a 100%-owned subsidiary of OMV Refining & Marketing GmbH, to the Serbian oil company NIS.  In Bosnia-Herzegovina, OMV has been active in the retail and  commercial business since 2001. There are 22 employees in the head office of OMV BH d.o.o in Sarajevo…

 


Bulgaria

EC Opens Antitrust Proceedings against Bulgarian Energy Holding. – (novinite.com). The European Commission has  opened formal proceedings to investigate whether the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) may be abusing its dominant market position in the wholesale electricity market in Bulgaria. The Commission has concerns that BEH might be hindering competition on wholesale electricity markets in Bulgaria and neighboring Member States through territorial restrictions.

Bulgarian Energy Holding Probed by EU Over Power Contracts - Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD faces a formal antitrust probe by European Union regulators over possible monopoly abuse in the electricity industry. The European Commission is investigating provisions in electricity supply agreements struck by the state-owned company’s units that prescribe where power can be sold and may prevent its resale outside Bulgaria….

 

Gazprom and Bulgarian Energy sign agreement on South Stream gas pipeline -  Gazprom OAO, a Russia-based company engaged in the operation of gas pipeline systems, and Bulgarian Energy Holding, have signed a protocol of the final investment decision on the South Stream gas pipeline construction in the Republic of Bulgaria.  According to the contract terms and conditions, gas will be delivered by the South Stream gas pipeline…

 

Bulgaria's Belene NPP Project Drained of BGN 300 M – Report - A report of the Public Financial Inspection Agency (PFIA) has claimed that a total of BGN 300 M allocated to the construction of the Belene nuclear power plant has been drained from the state budget.  PFIA presented Tuesday its findings to the ad-hoc parliamentary committee on Belene NPP. According to the report, a total of BGN 300 M from the state budget was allocated in 2008 to the creation of a Bulgarian-German joint venture to build the N-plant in Belene….

Bulgarian Right-Wingers to Register Anti-Nuclear Plant Committee - (novinite.com). Bulgaria's Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party is to officially launch its campaign against the construction of a new nuclear power plant in the country. The right-wingers will register their anti-nuclear committee with the country's Central Electoral Commission on Tuesday, local media inform. Over 14 000 citizens have signed a petition against the development of nuclear energy in the country through the construction of a new nuclear power plant. The petition was launched by the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria.

Bulgaria's Gas Supplier to Request 9% Price Cut in Q1, 2013 - Bulgaria's state-owned gas supplier will seek a reduction in Q1, 2013 gas prices by around 9%, according to Bulgargaz CEO Dimitar Gogov.  Speaking Wednesday at a press conference at the Ministry of Economy, Energy, and Tourism (MIET), Gogov made clear that the gas prices entering into force on January 1, 2013 would also depend on the USD-BGN exchange rate….


Bosnia

The UN announced on Thursday (November 29th) it is offering $20,000 to anyone who invents a relatively cheap renewable energy solution for Bosnia and Herzegovina. - (setimes.com) The winning solution should cost no more than $6,500, should be easy to handle and maintain and provide enough hot water and electricity to supply an average household.


Croatia
Slavonski Brod to get new thermoelectric plant(Croatian Times) A new 570 megawatt thermoelectric plant is planned to be built in Slavonski Brod, in eastern Croatia. The gas powered plant is expected to cost around 500 million Euro. The project is lead by gas retailer Crodux Plin.


Kosovo

Kosovo and Serbia turn attention to energy - Belgrade and Pristina plan to concentrate on resolving energy and telecommunications issues in the next round of their EU-mediated talks. The Energy Community, which regulates energy issues across Europe under the EU acquis, has declared Belgrade in violation of Energy Community rules because it failed to compensate Pristina for using transmission lines in northern Kosovo to move electricity to Serbia and adjacent countries….


Romania

Naming of Romania’s Energy Regulation Agency management triggers European criticism-The recent naming of Romania’s National Regulation Energy Authority (ANRE) general management trigged criticism form high up in the European Commission.  The European Commissioner on Energy Gunther H. Oettinger publicly criticized in a letter to the Romanian Economy Ministry the recent naming  of ANRE’s supervisory council, which he deemed ‘non-transparent and against competition’. … 

Romania's Hidroelectrica lifts force majeure - Romanian insolvent state-owned hydropower producer Hidroelectrica said on Monday it lifted force majeure and resumed normal power deliveries to clients as of December 1.  Hydrological conditions on the Danube have improved and the prognoses are stable for the upcoming period, Hidroelectrica said in a statement quoting its administrator Euro Insol.  Hidroelectrica's energy output is expected to fall to a record low of less than 12 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2012, due to a prolonged drought, the statement added….

 

Romanian Hidroelectrica Resumed Full Power Supplies This Month - Hidroelectrica SA, Romania’s state- owned hydropower generator, said it has resumed  power supplies at full capacity after river water levels improved.  Hidroelectrica ended a force-majeure clause it activated for its contracts with companies such as Alro SA (ALR) on Dec. 1, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. The company, which cut electricity supplies between October 2011 and April 2012 and for another three months from August because of a prolonged drought, has been under an insolvency procedure since June as part of a government restructuring plan…

Nuclear power reactor shut down due to storm in Romania – (English. News.cn) The No. 1 reactor of Nuclear Plant in Cernavoda was stopped Monday due to storm, said Romania's State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy Rodin Traicu. Due to high intensity storm in the area that caused disruptions in electricity transmission lines, transformer of the No. 1 reactor automatically tripped, disconnecting the unit from the National Energy System Monday morning, said also a release of the company in Cernavoda of Constanta County, 160 km east of the capital Bucharest.

Officially : The likelihood of reactors 3 and 4 to be built with Asian companies is very high – (actmedia.eu).The likelihood that nuclear reactors 3 and 4 of the unit in Cernavoda to be built with Asian companies is ‘very high’ according to the state secretary in the ministry of economy Rodin Traicu.’The likelihood (the construction of the two reactors with partners with Asia) is very high’ Traicu stated for Mediafax. According to him, Romania meets all the requirements of the investors regarding the predictibiliy of the development of the projects, as the government in Bucharest adopted all the regulations required by the European Commission


Serbia
Banca Intesa gets EUR 30mn for SME financing -  the EBRD has announced a new EUR 30mn five-year senior loan to Banca Intesa Belgrade (BIB) intended for its private SME clients. - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said that this represented a continuation of its support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in south-eastern Europe at a time when recovery from the crisis is still uncertain… In 2009 the EBRD provided it with a EUR 10mncredit line for financing energy efficiency investments undertaken by Serbian companies, topped up by EUR 4mn the following year….

Focus on Balkans -The strategic shift is one factor in RWE's new focus on Balkan markets. In September, RWE Innogy and Republika Srpska (an autonomous region in Bosnia-­Herzegovina) signed a strategic agreement to develop five new hydro plants on the Drina and Velika Morava rivers. Work on the £370 million project starts in 2014.  "Hydropower is a key part of our strategy to expand the use of renewables," says RWE Innogy chief executive Hans Bunting. "It gives us a common interest with southeastern Europe, where vast potential exists for hydropower projects…RWE will also gain access to existing and future hydro capa­city in Serbia as part of a deal to develop a 750MW coal-fired thermal power plant at Nikola Tesla…. 


Armenia
Aleppo-Armenians experience lack of heating -
(news.am) Among lots of problems of Aleppo-Armenians lack of heating comes in addition as the oil price growth, press secretary of Berian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Aleppo Zhirayr Reisyan told Armenian News-NEWS.am “The problem of heating is among other problems including lack of electricity and means of communication, telephone and internet are cut very frequently. Besides, oil and gas prices sharply went up and they are difficult to find,” he said.

Electrical Networks Of Armenia Plans To Channel 26 Billion Drams In 2013-2015 Into Systems Upgrading – (groong.usc). The Russian-owned Electrical Networks of Armenia (ENA), a company that owns and runs Armenia's power distribution networks, said its investment program for 2013-2015 may reach 26.4 billion drams… According to the investment program, submitted in November to the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC), the program is designed to improve the quality of supplied electricity and to connect new subscribers to the network


Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani power plant first in world to earn carbon credits through energy efficiency modernization - A thermal power plant in Azerbaijan, AzDRES, will become the first in the world to be able to sell carbon credits earned thanks to an energy efficiency modernisation project, the EBRD report stated.  The project was financed by the EBRD in 2006; the $ 207 million loan allowed the plant to rehabilitate old and inefficient turbines and boilers, modernize command and control systems, repair chimneys and water cooling systems and make a number of other improvements…

 

Iranian Envoy, Azeri Minister Discuss Tehran-Baku Energy Cooperation - During the meeting held in Baku on Wednesday, the Iranian diplomat underlined the necessity for the expansion of cooperation in energy and industry sectors.   He pointed to Iran's high technical capacities in the field of oil, gas and electricity, stressing that exchange of the two sides' experiences in this fields would be "useful".   The Azeri minister, for his part, described Iran as his country's "friend and neighbor", and voiced Baku's preparedness to expand bilateral ties and cooperation…

Azerbaijan vetting gas pipeline drafts - A decision on including members of the Shah Deniz gas consortium in Azerbaijan in a version of the Nabucco pipeline is expected mid-December, an executive said. Rovnag Abdullayev, the president of the State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic, said members of the Nabucco West gas pipeline consortium are drafting final proposals regarding Azeri gas….

How will Azerbaijan Solve its Oil Fund Deficit?- You might not think that money from oil would be a problem for Azerbaijan, one of the former Soviet Union’s largest energy producers. But when oil production drops, and election-year demands for money increase, the picture changes. Next year, for the first time in its history, the country’s State Oil Fund will post a multi-billion-dollar deficit. For economists, the question is what to do about it. Azerbaijan’s 2013 budget, passed on November 30, is expected to increase by roughly 12 percent to 19.15 billion manats or $24.4 billion. …

Georgia
Georgian Energy Minister discusses possibility of reducing electricity tariff with investors - Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze met with representatives of the Russian company Inter RAO and the Czech Energo-Pro Georgia on Tuesday. Reducing tariffs for electricity was discussed during the meeting, but the exact figure of tariffs reducing wasn't defined again…

 

Minister: No HPP should be constructed without project analysis in Georgia - No HPP should be constructed in Georgia without a thorough analysis and study of the project, Minister of Environment Protection of Georgia Khatuna Gogaladze said at a press conference on Monday. She noted that she will personally visit all the hot spots and get acquainted with the situation….

 

Georgian Batumi Oil Terminal wins award on ensuring ecological safety- Georgian "Batumi Oil Terminal" has obtained the grand prize and has been awarded with special certificate in the nomination - "Innovative decision on ensuring ecological safety" at the VII international congress "Oil Terminal", which took place in Saint-Petersburg on November 27-28, 2012, the BOT reported on Monday.

 

The new government of Georgia will continue to support various energy projects and the creation of transit routes through its territory - (News. Az) M.Valishvili emphasized that Georgia is promising in terms of contribution to addressing energy challenges. She added that the Caucasian republic also plays an important role in facilitating a dialogue between the exporters and importers of resources from the Caspian region


Moldova
Reliable Heat and Light in Moldova's Homes and Hospitals– (World Bank) Moldova has few energy resources. To supply citizens, businesses and government with power, the country has to import oil, natural gas, coal and electricity. And Moldova has had to adjust to a dramatic shift from Soviet times, when cheap energy discounted the need for energy efficient homes and commercial buildings, and the politics of giving people free energy trumped the economics of delivery and use.

Moldova likely to buy cheaper Russian gas in 2013 - (Allmoldova) The price of the natural gas Moldova imports from Russia, could decrease in the first quarter of 2013 by 5 dollars, and by another 20 dollars by late 2013, First Deputy Prime Minister, Economics Minister Valeriu Lazar said during a TV show.  The Russian concern Gazprom presented the Moldovan-Russsian joint venture Moldovagaz the draft of the agreement on prolonging the gas supply contract. According to the document, which is being discussed, Moldova could benefit from a discount for the gas price in the first quarter of 2013.


Russia
Russia's InterRao to buy Turkish power plant - State-controlled Russian energy group InterRao (IRAO.MM) expects to complete the purchase of a power station in Turkey this year, the company said on Monday during a visit to Ankara by President Vladimir Putin.  InterRao is looking to buy the Turkish subsidiary of U.S. company AEI that owns 90 percent of the 478-megawatt Trakya power plant, located 100 km from Istanbul. Houston-based AEI is in the process of winding up its operations….

Turkey embracing Russian gas - Turkish energy minister said Russian officials expressed a "very positive" view of closer natural gas ties between the countries.  Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived this week in Turkey, which is positioning itself as a major energy bridge for Europe.  Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Ankara is keen to secure more natural gas from Russia in light of sanctions pressure on Iran.

Wind’s Huge Play in Russia - Renewables in northwest Russia could make a better investment than the multi-billion-dollar DESERTEC North Africa solar  undertaking, according to researchers at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)…. The IFC’s RUSTEC would capture northwest Russia’s wind, hydro and biomass resources, which, because they are abundant, concentrated and underutilized, could be more cost-effective to develop….

Russian nuclear agency Rosatom plans fast reactors - Rosatom is to build a fast neutron reactor that it hopes will lead to a new wave of clean and commercially viable power stations. Russia is attempting to eliminate nuclear waste through an unprecedented international partnership based on fast-reactor technology, which has the potential to win 10 to 15pc of the world's £150bn nuclear energy market in the near future….

 

Enel OGK-2: First Amongst Equals. - (PowerTec Russia & CIS) The activities of Italian energy giant Enel in Russia is one of the most successful examples of entry of foreign capital into the Russian energy industry. The company was the first among international corporations, even before the start of liberalization of the industry, to begin working in the Russian power sector, taking under control the North-West TPP in Saint Petersburg. Enel was the first to purchase the stake in a generation facility spinning off from RAO UES during the energy sector reform.

PowerTec Talks Exclusively to Roman Berdnikov, Deputy CEO for the Federal Grid Company - (PowerTec Russia & CIS)… you are in charge of “smart-grid” development within the Russian Federation. Russia has a comprehensive, but somewhat “ageing” grid system – but what is the true current state of the regions transmission grid?... what does developing a “smart grid” actually mean for the Russian distribution sector?... The Federal Grid Company announced in 2010 a huge investment into “smart grid” development. When will we see the impact of that investment


Turkey
Eon pushes into Turkey with Enerjisa deal –  Eon, Germany’s biggest utility by sales, is taking a half-share in Turkish power company Enerjisa as part of its strategy to seek opportunity in emerging markets to make up for problems in low-growth western Europe.  The transaction, valued at about €1.5bn, will take the form of an asset swap with Verbund, the Austrian utility…

Turkey’s EUAS expected to hold yearly electricity capacity auctions from 2013 -Private Turkish electricity companies will be allowed to bid for energy freed up by the state incumbent EÜAŞ from next year, a source familiar with the arrangements has told ICIS.  The company is expected to organise annual auctions for anything between 5-15TWh, which represents between 570MW-1.7GW of continuous baseload generation. The source said EÜAŞ expects to sell the energy under closed annual auctions, but added that smaller batches of monthly, quarterly and half-yearly capacity could also be tendered from next year…

 

Russia starts investing in nuclear power plant construction in Turkey - Russian company Rosatom has started investing in the Turkish Akkuyu nuclear power plant project, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying today by the newspaper Sabah.  The total investment volume in the project will amount to $20 billion. At the initial stage, $2.5 billion will be invested in the project, Erdogan said….

 

Energy Minister: Turkey asks Russia to increase gas supplies by three billion cubic meters per year- Turkey asked Russia to increase gas supplies by three billion cubic meters a year, the possibility of supply through the West Corridor is considered, Minister of Energy Alexander Novak said, RIA Novosti reported.  "The Turks raised the question of gas supplies increase, as they have high growth rates of natural gas consumption, and they are asking for an additional 3 billion (cubic meters - editor.) in short term," Nowak told reporters…


Ukraine
Ukraine seals new renewables law with local-content rules- Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych has signed a law which tightens the rules for the country’s renewable energy market, in a move analysts claim will strengthen the position of existing layers while making it less attractive to newcomers.The renewables law increases the local-content requirement to 50% for wind farms. Foreign investors expressed concern about plans for the 50% rule, claiming it would make it impossible for them to work in Ukraine…


Ukraine passes renewable energy law cutting solar FiT- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed off a new law that will reduce feed-in tariffs for solar power plants commissioned from April 2013.  Under law 5485-VI, ground-based stations will be cut from UAH4.8 to UAH3.5 (US$0.43), while for roof or wall-mounted installations with a capacity of over 100kW the FiT will decline from UAH4.6 to UAH3.6 (US$0.44). Roof or wall-mounted installations with a capacity of less than 100kW will drop from UAH4.4 to UAH3.7 (US$0.45).  A feed-in tariff for households using solar modules with a capacity of up to 10kW will be introduced from 2014 at the level of UAH3.7…

Phantom’ gas deal embarrasses Ukraine government -Spanish company denies ever having signed a contract with Ukrainian investment agency Kiev: It was hailed as the historic deal that would finally end Ukraine’s reliance on Russian gas imports and ensure its energy independence forever.  But then Ukraine’s announcement it had signed an agreement with Spanish firm Gas Natural Fenosa as the first foreign investor in a planned LNG terminal off Odessa hit a snag…

 

Ukraine searching for new solutions to energy problems -  Ukraine is searching for alternative gas sources. The construction of the largest terminal in the country to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) has started in Ukraine this week. Kiev plans to receive natural gas from Azerbaijan, Turkey, the USA, Qatar, and Norway…

Insight: Riddle persists of Ukraine gas deal that never was – (Reuters) It was hailed as a historic $1 billion deal marking a major step towards ending Ukraine's reliance on imported Russian gas. But the ballyhoo had no sooner died down after the signing of the gas terminal deal than the alleged Spanish partner disowned it and the mysterious outsider involved vanished, leaving Ukrainian officials humiliated and embarrassed. The deal at the center of the high-profile signing ceremony on November 26 had seemed to tie in Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa as the main investor in building a liquefied gas (LNG) terminal on the Black Sea Coast - a strategic project for which the former Soviet republic has long been looking for foreign support.

Thermal-electric power stations left without gas – (Kyivpost) Ukraine's thermal-electric power stations have been forced to drastically reduce gas consumption after Itera announced it is stopping gas deliveries; however, no gas deficit in the energy system, nor any consumer cut-offs are expected tonight, a source in the Fuel and Energy Ministry told Ukrainian News. According to the source, the power stations cut gas consumption by two-thirds today, from 18-19 million cubic meters per day to 5.5 million cubic meters, after Itera announced a complete halt to gas deliveries in November.

Ukraine cuts gas transit 20.7% in January-November 2012 – (Kyivpost) Ukraine reduced gas transit to Europe and other CIS countries by 20.7% year-on-year in January-November 2012 to 75.04 bcm. The press office of Ukrtransgaz, a subsidiary of national oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy, said transit to Western Europe fell 21.3% to 72.6 bcm, and transit to the CIS fell 2.8% to 2.66 bcm.

Azarov: Ukraine able to achieve reduction in Russian gas purchases – (Kyivpost) OSLO - Steps Ukraine has taken to diversify gas delivery and develop its own production have allowed the country to significantly reduce purchases of Russian gas, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said. "All the steps we've taken have allowed us to order just 18 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia," the prime minister said during a meeting with representatives of Norway's energy sector in Oslo on Thursday.

Azarov hopes to increase shale gas extraction to 20-30 bcm per year in 5-10 years – (Kyivpost) Oslo – Ukraine is planning to increase shale gas extraction to 20-30 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year in some five to ten years, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said. "We hope that in the near five to ten years we will extract at lest 20-30 bcm of shale gas per year," he said at a forum of Ukrainian and Norwegian businessmen in Oslo on Friday. 

 

  

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