Serbia: Gas transport fees increase 400%, burden for companies

25. March 2015. / News Serbia Energy

The fee for the transport of gas for companies in Serbia has been giddily increased from February. From Energy Agency, which approved the increase in prices, explain that the fee has been a social category so far and that was the cheapest in the region.

The factory “Zorka” Sabac paid fixed amount of 2.225 EUR in January and 12.400 EUR in February.

Gas transit costs by an average of 530 percent more than last year by the economy of last month. The fixed part of the account for the blue energy source, with which the transport is paid, has been more than five times increased since the gas market opening, and companies will bring heavy losses of hundreds of thousands of EUR, or increase the invoice for fifty percent compared to last month. From Energy Agency, which approved the increase in prices, explain that the fee has been a social category so far and that was the cheapest in the region.

The factory “Zorka” from Sabac had paid until January of this year the unchanging part of the calculation for gas at the price of 0,728 EUR per cubic meter. But February account for the blue energy source increased this item to 3, 88 EUR per cubic meter!

– The increase in the fixed part on the account for the gas will bring an annual cost of 100,000 euros only to “Zorka” – says Petar Miljkovic, a member of the Association of contemporary ceramics producers of Serbia and director of “Zorka”. – We are deeply surprised by the latest “Srbijagas” showdown which callously uses its monopoly position now to pour uncollected receivables from other companies into those who regularly pay their obligations. The same amounts received “Kanjiza” and “Polet”. We have no other option but to pay more than five times bigger amount for the item “capacity”, part which is fixed.

Manufacturers, adds Miljkovic, have complained to “Srbijagas” but they received a notification from them that the increase was conditional by- a jump in the dollar.

– This price increase will completely destroy the domestic ceramics producers but also other companies that use gas in their production process – says Miljkovic.

– With market liberalization the charges led to a complete devastation of domestic producers who now pay not only the most expensive gas, but also the most expensive fixed fee.

The new price of gas transport since February approved the Energy Agency, whose experts explain that the current price was completely unsustainable.

– Until February 1st has been valid the network fee determined in 2011th – explains Ljubo Macic, Director of the Energy Agency. – Capacity has been charged only for the gas transport from the entry point, which is extremely low transport cost, lower than most in the region. Not all companies receive the same price network fee, but depending on how much energy resource use and how often do it. Those who have irregular electricity supply and gas consume only a few months a year, will pay more. It takes time to teach companies how to calculate in the open market and make a favorable supply contracts. Foreign companies already had the opportunity doing so abroad, but it is considerably difficult for our companies.

Increasing network fee, add in the Agency, is in accordance with the “Third energy package”, which we have signed, which monitors energy regulations in Europe.

SERBIA seeks an alternative to Russian gas, but that does not mean the strategic commitment to join the European Union, said Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic for the Swiss newspaper “Neue Zeitung Cirher”. He reiterated that our country was ready to negotiate on the blue fuel supply – with everyone in order to ensure the energy security.

– I do not care whether the energy comes from New Zealand or from Macedonia or anywhere. I need a gas at a good price – said the prime minister of Serbia. – For Serbia, it is not a geopolitical game, but a game of survival. My job is to ensure the energy security of the country. Therefore, we talk to the Americans, Russians and others.

He explained that Serbia would not leave the road to Brussels, but also wanted to preserve the traditionally good relations with Russia.

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