Serbia to undertake EU restructuring model in state power utilities

, News Serbia Energy

Serbian Minister of Energy Zorana Mihajlovic stated on Thursday that Serbia has to restructure major public companies such as Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) and Srbijagas in order to take the advantages in the Southeast Europe energy market.

At a conference discussing the topic of an integrated energy market in Southeast Europe, Mihajlovic said that it is necessary to restructure these two companies and enable them to compete with European companies.

The process of liberalization of energy trade has already kicked off in Serbia, Mihajlovic said, stressing that the government will continue this job, and later liberalize the gas market.
“We can say that the liberalization process and opening of markets has kicked off, there are legal regulations, but the government was unprepared in certain aspects,” she said.

“Today, we are partly unprepared, no matter how much we tried to meet all deadlines in the process of liberalization of the energy and gas market,” she said.

In agreement with the Energy Community of Southeast Europe, the Serbian government will adopt decisions aimed at creation of a regional energy stock market, Mihajlovic said.

The minister said that 29 distributors in Serbia’s energy market have been registered this year.

She said that Serbia has already adopted many documents and laws in order to liberalize the electricity market, but it is inefficient in their implementation.
“It is not because someone is incapable, or not doing his job well, but it is about the great resistance that appears in all great systems when certain changes need to be carried out,” she said.

As of January 1, 2013, the energy market has opened up by 10 percent, the minister noted.
The government has an assignment to make it possible for EPS to become a competent company, Mihajlovic said.

Ljiljana Hadzibabic, member of the Serbian Energy Agency, said that Serbia has prepared documentation for the establishment of a regional stock market, and that it is up to the government to adopt a decision on the issue.

Janez Kopac, director of the Secretariat of Energy Community of Southeastern Europe, said that the EU goal by 2014 is to have only one energy market instead of current eight, which are divided into trade regions.