Serbia: EPS’ separation of production and distribution activities next year

, News Serbia Energy

Serbian Government has adopted a decision on the restructuring of state-owned power utility EPS, which creates conditions for the separation of electricity production and electricity distribution activities within the company by 1 May 2021, said Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic.

Minister Mihajlovic said that, by transferring the property and the employees within the distribution system of power utility to EPS Distribucija, the conditions are being created for the establishment of a fully independent operator of the distribution system. In addition to harmonizing EPS Distribucija with the Energy Law and obtaining the license from the Energy Agency (ARS) for the activity it carries out, this process is important for the better control of the costs and the reduction of losses within the distribution network, she noted. The adopted plan also entails the transfer of the share in EPS Distribucija from the power utility EPS to the state, the issuing of a license and the harmonization of the acts of EPS Distribucija. According to the program agreed between Serbian Government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), EPS should have been transformed into a joint stock company in 2020.

EPS recorded a net loss in the amount of 23.2 million euros in 2019, compared to a loss of 12.3 million euros in the previous year. The company’s operational revenues increased by 5.4 % in 2019 to 2.08 billion euros, but operational costs rose as well – by 3.5 % to reach almost 2 billion euros.

EPS consists of public enterprise JP EPS, which handles electricity generation, and EPS Distribucija, which is in charge of electricity distribution. In 2019, JP EPS recorded a profit of some 30 million euros, but EPS Distribucija recorded losses in the amount of 50 million euros. EPS Distribucija operated at a loss in 2018 as well, but it was much smaller, at around 20 million euros.