Serbia: New delay in starting Serbian regional energy exchange SEEPEX

, News Serbia Energy

Due to the delay in adopting the new Energy Law, the beginning of establishing an organized SPOT electricity market in Serbia has also been postponed, with an adequate platform for the envisaged establishment of a regional day-ahead market having been provided, and this for the third quarter of 2015.

The exchange, designed to increase competition, develop more reliable prices and improve the security of supply within the region, [would] be fully operational six months later than the original plan, said the director for international and regulatory issues in the grid operator TSO company EMS (Electricity Grid of Serbia), Miloš Mladenović.

“We expect the Energy Law to be adopted either at the end of this year or in January next year, and then we could obtain the license in the first or the second quarter of 2015, whereas we could establish the exchange in the third quarter“, said Miloš Mladenović.

The SEEPEX will be a joint venture with the 75:25 ownership share of the EMS and the EPEX.
The trading rules on the electricity exchange are public and equal for all participants. The centralized function of financial settlement with the partner (clearing house) will increase the financial security of the market participants, and thus also reduce the financial risks.

In the initial phase, the neighbouring countries Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia can join the SEPEEX. There are also plans to connect the regional market with the market in Hungary, which is already connected to day-ahead markets in The Czech Republic, The Slovak Republic and Romania.
The SEPEEX [would] first establish its day-ahead market, with the day trading in the later phase, Mladenović explained.

Whereas many traders see the region as a good and potentially profitable place, they cite the lack of transparency and the difficulties in obtaining trading licenses as the growth-limiting obstacles.
Serbia should liberalize its market in January 2015, but the PE EPS is expected to continue holding its dominant position. The Government intends to keep the electricity price, fearing that an increase could lead to inflation, as well as to voter dissatisfaction.