Serbia exclusive: Electricity trading in liberalized market, active traders strategies report

9. January 2015. / News Serbia Energy

Although the first phase of the electricity market liberalization in Serbia began in 2013th with the customer at high voltage, it seems that our market is not representative example for power trade. The second phase of market opening for customers at medium voltage began on 1 January of this year; however, large electricity traders in the country are interested now in participating in the sale.

As confirmed for Serbia Energy in “EFT Trade” in the business plan for 2014 they did not predict to participate in the retail electricity market at the medium and low voltage in Serbia. The company is still concerned in electricity customers’ supply in the future, but when the appropriate conditions are fulfilled.

– In its mid-term business plan, “EFT Trade” has the intention to participate in this segment of the market in Serbia, with the experience that already has in other countries in region in which the market opening has begun several years ago. We will continue to monitor relevant legislation and by-laws, as well as conditions in the electricity supply market in Serbia, so that when the conditions are right, we can offer an adequate service to completely supply consumers at the medium and low voltage – say in EFT.

Electricity suppliers indicate that the electricity price is not the market’s, because “Serbia Power Utility Company”, which has had a monopoly until now, leads social policy that gives a lower price than the market’s is, so that the markets opening for customers means higher electricity prices.

From the company “Axpo”, which trades electricity in Europe and has a branch office in Serbia, say they are not trying to bid customers at the medium voltage because they cannot offer a competitive price.

– Our offer can be based on the electricity import, we can buy from local producers, so we cannot control the price as EPS – says Veljko Cvijic, director of “Axpo”.

One of the largest regional electricity suppliers “Rudnap Group” decided to carefully consider all aspects of the second phase of the electricity market liberalization in Serbia.

– It is necessary that the process goes through certain stages so that we can talk about specific predictions, and at this time our expectations are pretty reasonable. The first element from this process is the fact that electricity in Serbia and other countries before liberalization was a means of social peace and that is the reason that the price is lower than the real when market opens. We have, therefore, started to supply deliberately business customers at the intermediate level, in order to gradually introduce all the procedures and techniques that are new at our market into our business – said Sanja Bozinovska, Director of the Department for electricity trading of the company “Rudnap Group “.

In that company estimates that there will be a moment when the electricity price “becomes a reflection of the real image of the region, or the market”.

According to the Agency for Energy there are around 70 licensed electricity suppliers in Serbia, of which 30 are active. In the ” Serbia Power Utility Company” told us that “EPS Supply “retains 97% of the market at the medium voltage.

Last year, when the market to high transmission was opened, EPS did not lose not a one customer, who has taken the GEN-I.

Srdjan Resavac representative of Slovenian companies, at the conference “Towards Electricity Market” held in mid-February, said that the customer at high voltage has kept also in 2014th, and that at the medium and low voltage gained 2.5% market share and closed contracts for the delivery of 200 million kilowatt hours of electricity.

Customers at medium voltage

All companies and businesses at medium voltage, namely companies and enterprises that have more than 50 employees and annual revenue of more than 10 MEUR, or are connected at the voltage greater than 1 kV should choose from which supplier will buy the power. Because of the buyers reluctance to take this step, which are about 3.200, the deadline was initially extended until 1st March and then by 30th June.

As Serbia Energy finds out from the Ministry of Energy, a total of 2.509 customers at medium voltage did not conclude a contract with the supplier.

Although some public enterprises do not have answers to tender for the electricity supply even after the third announcement, the Ministry of Energy claims that “there is no indication that it will extend the deadline for the suppliers’ selection”.

Source; Serbia Energy

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