Serbia, Financial difficulties in EPS continue

, News Serbia Energy

The bad financial situation in which the Electric Power Industry of Serbia finds itself has caused, in addition to delays in the payment of electricity to producers from domestic renewable energy sources, also a delay in the payment of electricity purchased abroad, Danas has learned.

A Danas source claims that last week, EPS paid only 50 percent of the bill to the electricity supplier bought abroad because it did not have enough money for the entire amount of the transaction.

– EPS’s financial problems seem to be serious. That company also started to owe for the purchased electricity from imports. Traders who import electricity are considering stopping offering their goods to EPS and concluding arrangements with that company for the first quarter of next year – our source states and adds that when it comes to domestic suppliers, EPS is slowly starting to pay arrears.

Another interlocutor of Danas, close to that company, points out that it is evident that EPS has financial problems caused by unplanned import of electricity during the last winter season due to insufficient quantities of coal and frequent accidents at power plants.

– Due to all that, debts were incurred towards suppliers, among them those from whom EPS buys electricity. However, it should be noted that these debts are still much more common when it comes to domestic producers of electricity from renewable energy sources. Simply put, the system of signing contracts for electricity purchased on foreign stock exchanges is such that it is simply impossible to owe. Any non-compliance with precisely defined rules can lead to exclusion from the stock exchange. Debts, for imported electricity, can occur in the case of concluding an arrangement on the principle of direct agreement with the trader. When it comes to arrangements for the purchase of electricity from abroad, it seems that EPS has more problems with obtaining a loan. Namely, banks are increasingly cautious in approving credit arrangements due to the economic crisis, and EPS is already quite indebted, so it seems that credit funds are not obtained so easily and quickly. This also causes delays in payment to suppliers – our interlocutor explains.

As a reminder, Danas wrote that EPS was not able to pay for the electricity it bought from domestic producers from renewable energy sources due to the accumulated financial problems in the past four months, and owes between six and eight million euros on that basis.

The EPS management also informed its business partners that they did not have enough money to settle their obligations, thus justifying the delay. The Danas editorial office had an insight into the letter sent by the executive director of Elektroprivreda Srbije for electricity supply, Radovan Stanić, to a company engaged in the production of electricity from RES on May 20, stating that EPS “is in an unenviable financial situation and is currently struggling with with a certain delay, it settles its due obligations, even according to the issued invoices for the produced electricity under the contracts on the purchase of electricity”.

In the continuation of the letter, the authorities in EPS point out that they are aware of their obligations and that they will be settled “in a very short time”, calling on the company to which they owe for the delivered electricity to be patient.

A source close to Elektroprivreda Srbije points out that the reason why this public company does not have enough money to settle its debts is poor liquidity, which occurred due to high costs for electricity supply during the past winter period due to insufficient production and numerous accidents due to poor management of the company. Milorad Grcic, the party staff of the Serbian Progressive Party, headed the acting director.

On the other hand, the Electric Power Industry of Serbia claims for Danas that the company “has no debts for the purchased electricity on the wholesale market, ie when it comes to buying electricity from other suppliers.”

– EPS fulfills all contractual obligations for the purchased electricity. Elektroprivreda Srbije successfully cooperates with all privileged producers of electricity from renewable sources, and due to the circumstances caused by the energy crisis and the war in Ukraine, there was a delay in paying only one bill for those producers. EPS is settling all its contractual obligations as soon as possible, as it did in the previous period – they say in the Electric Power Industry of Serbia, Danas writes.