2018 Energy Strategy Summit – We touched all bases!

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The 4th Energy Strategy Summit organized by energynomics.ro in Sinaia (June 6-7) brought together 24 speakers and over 130 representatives from 46 organizations relevant to the Romanian energy industry. The event was attended by the Energy minister Anton Anton and by the adviser to the Prime Minister with responsibilities in the energy field Florin Radu Ciocănelea. In a day full of ideas and dialogue, the participants addressed all fields in the industry (oil and gas, electricity, mining and thermo), exposing diverse and complementary perspectives for an exhaustive understanding of the context and perspectives of Romanian energy.

There were two ideas constantly reinforced during the 6 hours of dynamic interventions and debates: 1. Romania is interconnected to the European economic space, which means it has common targets and firm obligations to observe at home, and 2. Technological advances are already changing and will increasingly continue to change the Romanian energy landscape, mainly because of the ever-increasing role of consumers in electricity markets.

“When we launched the Energy Strategy Summit concept in 2015, the national energy strategy was the dominant theme. With the advancements in this draft, the 2016-2017 editions brought to the forefront the strategies of large (multinational) companies as engines of change in the energy industry. The big gain of this year’s edition is that we identified the micro-strategies – of consumers – as a basis for future evolution in the energy industry”, said Gabriel Avăcăriţei, chief editor of energynomics.ro, at the end of the debates on 7 June. The consumer – household or economic agent – is empowered as a determinant factor, independent from the major national or European strategies. Small individual decisions build up powerful trends and force companies to adapt their service portfolios and business approaches to new forms of interaction where digitization, cyber security and data analysis are decisive factors.

Anton Anton: We aim at becoming a regional energy security pole (full article)

Energy Minister Anton Anton reaffirmed at 2018 Energy Strategy Summit that Romania’s energy strategy will be updated soon, and the new form of the draft will be put under public scrutiny in a few weeks. Anton presented some of the strong ideas of this document. “We would like to become a regional energy security pole,” the minister said, adding: “We want to be a hub for transport routes that unite Europe with neighboring areas.”

The energy strategy will have clear objectives and actions to be taken

“I am convinced that by the end of the year we will finalize the national energy strategy, which will be not a combination of statistical data and provisions from the European Union, but it will come with concrete objectives and clear steps to be taken in order to achieve these objectives”, said Florin Radu Ciocănelea, the adviser to the Prime Minister with responsibilities in the energy field.

The key to success can only be a real partnership between the major players in the energy sector – those who create value – and the authorities, said Florin Radu Ciocănelea, who also highlighted that “it must be achieved a very balanced situation in which everyone can win”.

We are in a very favorable moment for Romania

The first two sessions focused on the oil and gas sector, and major companies announced significant investment plans in exploration and production, storage and transport of hydrocarbons. OMV Petrom has invested heavily in the last years, about one billion lei annually, before the oil price collapsed and around 700-800 million lei a year, afterwards, recalled Lăcrămioara Diaconu-Pințea, member of the Directorate of OMV Petrom, responsible for the Downstream Gas Division. “The year 2018 is an essential moment for the oil sector, particularly for the gas sector, from the perspective of the Black Sea projects”, not just for OMV Petrom, but for Romania as a whole. “In 2018, if we have confirmation of fiscal and regulatory stability, the investment decision will be taken for the OMV Petrom-Exxon Mobil project in the Black Sea. We are talking about billions of dollars in investments, only in the offshore segment, investments that have a multiplier effect of 3.0, which means that every USD spent in offshore projects in Romania will generate a total of 3.0 USD in the Romanian GDP, said Lăcrămioara Diaconu-Pințea. In turn, Vasile Ciolpan, director of Romgaz’ Trading Department, referred to the company’s investment program of 1.8 billion lei for this year. “We act in order to ensure the necessary energy resources in the onshore fields as well as in the offshore project we are part of. Also, the investment at Iernut will rise to 800 million lei in 2018, “Vasile Ciolpan said.

Many interventions have highlighted the shortcomings in primary legislation and have detailed the bad impact they have to the business climate. “We are interested in the legislative stability and in the possibility of having price benchmarks on the basis of which we can program and support the investments”, Vasile Ciolpan said, referring to the principles of trading on the natural gas market, adopted by ANRE, to the changes on the Law 123, but also to the other legal provisions regarding the access to the wells and the connection of the points of work to the national gas transmission network.

From the investors perspective, legislative stability and clarity remain major targets, in the absence of which banks and companies have difficulty in building solid business plans that are mandatory for the future development of the industry. Beyond the great contributions from their dedicated departments, bank representatives have also put on the table their general offers for the business environment, offers that can be personalized according to the specifics of the activity and to the stage where the company looking for financial support is at the moment.

Transformation through diversification, transformation for survival

In the session dedicated to strategies for transformation, AFEER President Ion Lungu brokered a dialogue between two giants from the Romanian energy industry – Transelectrica and CE Oltenia – two of the most dynamic local companies – EnergoBit and MET Romania Energy, as well as a large bank – BCR, already deeply involved in the process of digital transformation of customer interaction. From survival, to consolidation and expansion, speakers have outlined the most diverse strategies.

The development of the service portfolio is the direction chosen by EnergoBit and MET Romania Energy, to respond to as many of the needs of their existing and new customers. Ovidiu Bălăcescu, CEO of Oltenia, referred to the pressure from the European legislative system, to which the Complex managed to respond by investing 1.1 billion euros in recent years, mainly to meet the environmental obligations in force. “We have 11 energy generation blocks available and one block in full refurbishment process; all have gone through modernization and efficiency programs, and investments will continue”, said Ovidiu Bălăcescu. “The increase in prices for CO2 certificates means an additional financial pressure of 75 million euros annually”, said the representative of CE Oltenia – a considerable burden for a company that has just entered in black in 2017 and has planned investments 800 million lei in 2018.

Improving Romania’s cross-border interconnection, result of Transelectrica’s investments, will gradually modify how the energy market works, while it will also strengthen the capacity of the national energy system to react to stress conditions, explained Adrian Şuţa, Director, Department for Relations with Authorities Regulatory and ENTSO-E, in Transelectrica. “The study on the system adequacy, commissioned by Transelectrica, might show us that for the most difficult moments we should consider introducing a capacities system”, said Adrian Şuţa, who also mentioned similar recent approaches from some European states, cautioned by the European Commission.

At high speed, towards the unknown

The last session of the day outlined the perspective of the major suppliers of equipment and services to the energy industry, and all the speakers referred to the impact that information technology has and will continue to exert on energy business. The dynamics of change is so great that any forecast for a period longer than several years is rather risky.

“It is very difficult for us to understand the new technologies and to anticipate what the market will require, because we are specialized in energy and not in information technology. We are assuming that there is no legal barrier for new technologies to penetrate and have an impact on energy markets”, said Zoltan Nagy-Bege, vice president of the National Regulatory Authority for Energy – ANRE. “We want to encourage constructive dialogue with the companies, and if somebody thinks that primary or secondary legislation does not allow new technologies to penetrate, we are open to discussing and finding solutions to eliminate these barriers”, the ANRE official said. “Given that Romania has this global prestige and it also has IT specialists who are recognized all over the world, it would be a pity not to play a leading role in the development of these technologies”, said Zoltan Nagy-Bege.

Dorian Hodorogea, Analytics Consultant at SAS Romania, said that the energy industry will follow the development path we saw in the telecom and banking industries. At present, although the energy industry produces much more data than those two mentioned, these data are neither stored, nor used, Dorian Hodorogea observed. Forecasting energy production and consumption is one of the near future trends, and artificial intelligence will also allow personalized offers from suppliers, as well as a much-accelerated dynamics in switching supplier or adapting the commercial packages offered by it for increased customer comfort. “Information technology will help us to better understand the profile and the behavior of the consumer in order to optimize the energy business”, Dorian Hodorogea has synthesized.

Energy Strategy Summit 2018 was organized by Wing Media Energy Consulting, through energynomics.ro, in partnership with reputed industry organizations such as ACUE, AFEER, AIIR-FV, RBSTA, ROPEPCA, RWEA și ARPEE, with the support of Automobile Bavaria, BCR, CIS-GAZ, EnergoBit, ING Bank, Lukoil, MET România Energy, Nuclearelectrica, Phoenix Contact, Ridgid – Emerson, Romgaz, SAS, Schneider Electric România, Transelectrica, WeTranslate.

More than 130 representatives from organizations and institutions such as ABB România, ANRE, Amerocap LLC, AON Consulting, ARPEE, Automobile Bavaria, BCR, CE Oltenia, CEZ România, Cis-Gaz, CNR-CME, Conpet, Distributie Energie Oltenia, Dynoteq, EFdeN, ELCEN, Electrica SA, Emerson, EnergoBit, Enevo Gruop, ENGIE România, ANRM, GIE, Greenpeace, Guvernul României, Honeywell, ING Bank, Investisia Group, Jereh, Konečná & Zacha, MET România Energy, MGM International Project, Ministerul Energiei, NewPark, Petrotel LUKOIL, Phoenix Contact, Photon Energy, AFEER, ACROPO, RBSTA, RED Royal Expert Design, Ridgid, Romgaz, ROPEPCA, RPIA, SAS, Schneider Electric România, Stratum Enclosures, Tanasescu & Gavrila, Transelectrica, Universitatea Craiova, Academia de Studii Economice Bucuresti, Universitatea Petrol și Gaze Ploiești, Universul Ingineresc, Varokub Energy Development, Veolia Energie România, WPD participated the Summit this year.

Media partners: Radio România ActualităţiAgerpresTransilvania Business.

Coperta-1-EM-19-smallWith this occasion we also launched the second issue of energynomics.ro Magazine in 2018. Another 184 pages, fully bilingual format and attractive design, capturing the trends and essential themes in the Romanian energy industry: news, analyses and opinion from personalities directly involved in the decision of the regulators and the most dynamic companies. This issue is featuring among others articles and interviews with pe Peter Zeilinger (OMV Petrom), Claudiu Crețu (ELCEN), Mihai Darie (Electrica SA).

For the first pages of the current issue of energynomics.ro Magazine (June 2017) enter the dedicated webpage, where you can also read the full content of all previous issues. For ideas, comments and editorial contributions, or commercial cooperation we encourage you to write us at office at energynomics.ro.

If interested in receiving the next issues of energynomics.ro Magazine, printed edition, we encourage you to write us at office at energynomics.ro to include you in our distribution list.

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