The CEZ Group in Romania ended 2018 with a net loss of RON 50 million, a major decrease from the net profit of RON 421 million recorded in 2017. The loss was caused mostly by the reduced wind energy production and by the fact that the anonymous market for the energy certificates didn’t function for most of 2018.
However, the company reported a profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of RON 395.9 million, up by RON 33.2 million compared to 2017.
In 2018, wind turbines in the Fantanele – Cogealac wind farm produced a total of 1,105 GWh, so the CEZ Group in Romania remaining the largest private renewable energy producer in the country. At the same time, the hydroelectric system near Resita produced 69 GWh in 2018, a total production of 14 GWh higher than in 2017 due to heavy rainfall.
At the level of the distribution operator, network investments have been accompanied by significant results in the SMART Transformation project. In 2018, Distributie Oltenia was the first distribution operator to implement the MWM (work mobile management) system in its operational area, reducing the intervention time of its operational teams by allocating the closest turn to the area of an electrical deficiency but also replacing the records on paper, on land, for every network incident, with tablets.
Also, in 2018, the smart processes implemented by Distributia Oltenia led to 5.6 percent reduction in network losses compared to 2017. At the operational level, the operator’s investments were directed towards further integration of SCADA transformation stations, modernization and replacement of transformers, installation of remote-controlled equipment, improvement of the low and medium voltage network and assuring the conditions for energy consumers to connect to the power grid.
The operator continued the development of the “Discipline Electrician” program, which aims to contribute to the formation of future generations of electricians in southern Romania. In 2018, the project was implemented in 4 counties, 158 students benefiting from the latest generation electric labs, scholarships, personal development workshops, internships in Distributie Oltenia installations, their own professional competition – Electrician Disciples’ Trophy and summer camps for students with the best results.
Selling the company
According to Ondrej Safar, country manager CEZ Romania, the mother-company is not in a hurry to sell assets in Romania and continues its projects here because it believes the Romanian market is one of the most stable in the region.
“On June 26, the group’s shareholders voted for a new strategy that describes the main directions of development in the future and includes the abandonment of Romanian assets. We are now starting to work on the preparatory part of the sales process, but it is too early to appreciate something about the next steps. We are not under the pressure of time to do this in the short term,” said Safar.
He considers that CEZ’s activity in Romania is a successful one, which will attract competitive offers from those interested.
“We are happy in Romania and we think we can get interesting and competitive deals. If there are no offers, we will repeat the process, the process itself will be a standard and transparent one, and each participant will have the opportunity to bid, then we will decide depending on all these elements when and with whom we will sell. Everyone in Romania or abroad will have the opportunity to make an offer,” he continued.
Safar also said that the company’s business is following its normal course.
“We keep the already started projects and we will begin to run others, keep the investments and remain an important partner for the environment in which we operate. We are and will remain behind the contracts that we have and we will conclude,” Safar explained.
Romania’s CEZ success depends on 1,800 employees. “Whatever our shareholders say, they represent the real company, and all the projects are made by people in the company, not by someone who comes from the cosmic space to do these things. All of these things are separate from the shareholders,” he said.