Serbia: Power utility EPS prepared for winter scenarios claim CEO Aleksandar Obradovic

27. November 2014. / News Serbia Energy

General Director of Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS), Mr. Aleksandar Obradović said that there would be no power cuts during the winter months and that despite the warm weather in November, the company was working on “all scenarios”, including the increased supply if this winter was very cold.

He explained that EPS, in addition to the electricity, imported coal for safety reasons, because if this winter was very strong and “force majeure” was announced, than all the contracts for the electricity import would become invalid.

“During the summer, when the electricity price is the cheapest in the region, we were buying the electricity, and filling our coal deposits which are, in TPPNT and Kopstolac, at the record amounts by the height of stock”, said Mr. Obradović.

Adding also that EPS has been doing everything to pump out Tamnava West Field, he pointed out that “production in Kolubara is already in progress and that, today, they produce about 65 thousand tons daily there.

“The normal amount is about 90 thousand tons, but we are trying to provide additional 10 thousand tons in the second half of December and to enable a normal operation at the beginning of the next year”.

In Tamnava West, “we had 1887 million cubic meters of water and it became the fourth or fifth largest lake in Serbia and now, we have to pump it out”, recalled Mr. Obradovic and concluded “that unfortunately, we will get a strong reference if something like that occurred anywhere in the world”, because no one in the history of Europe has done something like that before.

Talking about the electricity imports during the winter, the General Director of EPS stated that, last week, that company was very successful at the tender in Republika Srpska, where it got all the lots of imports and added that some other tenders were expected for electricity purchase.

He added that the tender for coal import was opened, that it had five bids, and that, by the end of this week, we would know who will be the winner.

When he was asked about the organizational changes, due to which EPS loses 100.000 euros daily, Mr. Obradovic said that the first and most important precondition was for the government to adopt the program of company’s reorganization.

“Minister (Aleksandar) Antic has already called the working teams and I expect the plan of reorganization of EPS to be adopted by the end of month as well as all the documents that are necessary for the change”, he said and announced that EPS would, when the Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association were changed, current 13, almost independent companies would be organized into one system.

He added that the number of employees would be reduced significantly, mostly in the administration field and 600 redundant directors.

“In the first wave, in the new organizational scheme, we will reduce one-third by the end of the year”, said Mr. Obradovic, announcing that the goal was that EPS had only one management at the end.

When asked whether EPS would aggravate the collection of larger debtors, he said that there were no untouchables and that the consumed electricity must be paid.

There are some consumers protected by the law, but we are in the negotiations with the government that not even budget users can owe no longer, pointed out the first man of EPS and recalled that the “collection has been soared a lot”.

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