Romania: State tenders ban for Electrica

, SEE Energy News

Electrica is among companies which are banned from participation in state tenders. Romanian Competition Council has published a list of companies that have been investigated for rigging public tenders.

The list includes 35 companies, including some big ones such as Electrica Group, electric equipment producers Energobit and Electromagnetica. Companies that offer services in the natural gas sector, such as Condmag and Armax Gaz, are also included in the list.

The Competition Council said it released the list to help the authorities in assessing the participation of these companies in new public tender procedures. The list also includes details about the companies’ behavior during the Competition Council’s investigations. The companies involved in rigged tenders in the past can be allowed to participate in new tenders if they prove they cooperated with the competition authority during the investigation.

Electrica said that its inclusion in the blacklist violates the rights and harms Electrica’s image, as it is associated with the idea of proven guilt, which is without legal basis. The company states that in the tender in question, regarding electric meters and related equipment, it is not a manufacturer of such equipment, being only a mediator in a third party transaction. Electrica also fully cooperated with the Competition Council during its investigation. It challenged the Council’s decision and the next hearing in this case is scheduled for 2022, so there is no final court decision at this moment.

In January 2018, the Competition Council imposed fines totaling 15.8 million euros to six companies, which were found guilty of setting up two anti-competition deals for the sale of smart metering products and additional equipment in the electricity sector. The biggest fine in the amount of 5.9 million euros was imposed to Landis+Gyr AG. The other fined companies include Ecro (113,709 euros), Electromagnetica (2.1 million euros), Elster Rometrics (2.4 million euros), Energobit (2.8 million euros) and Electrica (2.3 million euros).