Serbia: Gas supplier monopoly company Srbijagas dept sky rock, easy target for future privatization?

15. July 2013. / News Serbia Energy

Srbijagas’s consumers owe around 770 million EUR to Srbijagas currently while total indebtedness of this public company is 1,1 billion EUR at the same time.  If Srbijagas charges all 670 million EUR of old debts and then this debt would amount 100 million EUR more- Managing Director of Srbijagas, Dusan Bajatovic, said. He expressed a doubt that this debt will be able to be paid off.

“It is not realistic that Petrohemija pays 150 million EUR that owes to Srbijagas”, he said in conversations with journalists during the visit to underground gas warehouse in Banatski Dvor.

Bajatovic estimated that media completely wrongly announced Srbijagas for the biggest domestic loser, stressing that it is a consequence of bookkeeping.

“We have not charged 220 million EUR of delivered gas last year and when someone does not charge, he is a loser according to international accounting standards”, he explained and emphasized that “the real loss on material was around110 million EUR”.

Bajatovic said that the pure loss of Srbijagas had been 75 million EUR only in the last quarter of the last year.

He noted that constant discussion “when you ask for price increase than you are a bad guy and when you say that it should be paid off from budget, then you are even worse” is constant  in public because of that.

Srbijagas’s obligations toward banks amount 1,1 billion EUR in total and new credit debts of 70 million EUR for pipeline construction are also included- he said and added that this is not all debt, some of it will be returned and the part is returned already.

“So, I can’t say exactly how big public debt will be and how much Srbijagas will pay by itself. We will need to arrange that and all of it can be paid and it will be paid” Bajatovic said.

Media speculates that current business management and policy cant continue anymore and energy minister Mihajlovic already stressed that restructuring is expected. Srbijagas with its high depts may become easy target for future privatization of this monopoly gas supply company.

Source; Serbia Energy

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