Serbia: Energy Minister Mihajlovic announces financial restructuring of EPS and Srbijagas as measures for power market liberalization

19. June 2013. / News Serbia Energy

Minister of Energy, Zorana Mihajlovic, stresses that reforming of public companies is being launched in order to keep investors interested in Serbia.

Information that banks and EBRD are withdrawing from “Srbijagas” Company are not true. Restructuring of this gas supply and trading company is planned and everything that consultant suggest is accepted- Zorana Mihajlovic says and points that cooperation with this bank is great in sphere of energy. Reforming of public companies is done in order to keep banks here. Therefore, it is important to begin with reforms in this company as soon as possible.

-“Srbijagas” was taking credits from banks state guaranteed for like many other companies. It is a question now what we need to do in order to keep this company with credit. Creditors won’t withdraw because “Srbijagas” is said to be in bad condition. Every creditor approves credit to the company only when it sees how big the debts are and that they are not solvent and they have difficulties in settling problems- Zorica Mihajlovic explains.

She reminds that state began to reform public companies and it began with EPS. Financial consolidation is done. Therefore, they are not able to say if they have some problems with current liquidity of half million dollars.

-We have reprogrammed around 300 million EUR together with Ministry of Finances from their credits. Local governments, army, police and education owe around 100 million EUR to them and it is transferred to the public debt. Write-off effect from interests is 7 billion dinars. They are positive with 5 billion dinars now. Organization consolidation of EPS is also done. We are doing all of this because we must open to the market. The new industrial company “Snadbevanje” is formed and it is responsible for prices and their increase. This is not done by state anymore but this company together with Energy Agency. We are striving to protect EPS from loss or preventing it from expressing gaining but to have assets for investing.

Mihajlovic mentions that they will work on reformation of future public companies in the scope of future economy measures. She reminds that all ministers got directions for saving on resources and it is harmonized with Finance Ministry. Decrease on budget expenses is implied.

Savings are required but we must take care of limits. EPS will, for example, have record production this year, but not because it is in great condition but because hydrology is good and there was not a lot of overhauls. Therefore, we will not see which level we can save on maintenance expenses.

According to her words, there will be no loans and pensions’ freezing but we will take care of loans’ height in public administration and public companies. SNS proposal is analyze loans in agencies very carefully. There are big differences at the moment and it is on the damage of loans in public administration and in agencies and public companies at the other side.

At least two pre-contracts for big HPP like Bistrica and TPP Stavalj need to be made until the end of the year, she added.

Source Politika/Serbia Energy

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