Serbia: Power utility EPS restructuring and downsizing in accordance with agreement with trade unions

29. December 2014. / News Serbia Energy

Serbian power utility company EPS Director Aleksandar Obradović said that the number of employees in this company would be reduced in the following year but that the transformation process would be carried out in accordance with the agreement reached with trade unions.

“We will analyze where there are surplus employees, but before defining where precisely this surplus of employees is, through the talks held with trade unions, we will agree upon the way in which the transformation process will be started”, Obradović said appearing on the RTS.
He added that the EPS was embarking on the corporatization process the following year, and what was left to be done yet was to amend the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association at the Government meeting and to change the management.

“We will establish a new body which will be called the Board of Executive Directors, as the supreme body in the management of the entire system. When we have fulfilled these two steps, we are embarking on the corporatization process – to reduce the number of directors and the administration, to be a more efficient and a better company”, Obradović pointed out.
He said that the citizens should not worry, because the EPS was entering the winter season prepared.

“We have full dump sites at Kostolac, at the TPPNT, we have sufficient quantities of imported electricity, which we have obtained at significantly lower prices, and we have even additionally provided imported coal so that the citizens should not be worried”, Obradović said.

“We could not avoid natural disasters, the moral for us is that, when making plans, we have to count on such accidents happening more often and that we will invest in the infrastructure even more”, Obradović added.

When it comes to the procurement of new electricity meters, and the claims of domestic producers that they are unable to participate in the tender due to its conditions, Obradović said that they could not prohibit foreign producers to become involved in the tender, but that this did not mean that domestic producers could not become involved in this process.
He says that it is not only the electricity meters that are going to be bought but the entire system – the infrastructure, the hardware, the software, the routers…
“The tender is worth about 60 million euros, and according to the general rule of the EBRD, the companies were supposed to possess a 2.5 times higher amount so as to apply for the tender. We have convinced the EBRD that we should stay at 75 million, and this for the whole system”, Obradović explained.

He said that the most important thing was that the domestic producers had a quality product and that they satisfied the technical documentation, as well as that they could be a part of a consortium and subcontractors within these systems.

“We could not forbid the foreigners to appear in the tender, and this is also much better for the EPS because we will have a better bid”, the EPS director underlined.

He added that the tender had been prepared on the basis of the Feasibility Study which had been declared one of the best within the region.

“In this way, we are solving a systemic problem, we want to reduce thefts and to make the system more efficient”, said Obradović.
With respect to the media writings that there had been problems shortly before signing the contract on the Chinese loan for the “Kostolac B”, Obradović pointed out that he had only been defending the interests of the EPS.

“There are disagreements in any negotiation. We have accelerated the works in Kostolac, and now, we have obtained much better conditions than those we had at the beginning, the interest rate has been lowered and the repayment period has been extended. At the beginning of next year, we will start building a monumental project, after 20 years, this project being very important for the security of Serbia”, Obradović concluded.

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