Delgaz Grid, part of the E.ON group in Romania, has budgeted for this year investments of 915 million lei (over 180 million euros), 36% more than the previous year, these being the highest in the last 18 years, since entering the Romanian market, raising the total value of grid investments to around 1.6 billion euros.
The funds will be directed with priority to the modernization, expansion, automation and digitalization of the natural gas and electricity distribution networks.
The company operates 25,000 km of natural gas network and over 81,000 km of electricity network.
On the electricity side, the results of the investments made year after year can be seen in the increase in the safety and quality of the distribution service. Thus, in 2021, the company recorded the shortest duration of unplanned interruptions in electricity supply in Romania, of 89 minutes, and last year this indicator decreased even more, reaching 76 minutes. It is a 24-fold improvement over the 1,800 minutes/year recorded before privatization in 2005.
Progress was also recorded on the gas side, where the technological consumption of the network was reduced by 57%, compared to 2012. For comparison, the reduction of technological consumption by 587 GWh (respectively 56 million cubic meters) is equivalent to the annual consumption of a city of approx. 100,000 inhabitants, such as, for example, Satu Mare.
“The return to normality regarding the establishment of distribution tariffs, as provided by the legislation in force, will allow Delgaz Grid to apply, this year, a record investment plan, of over 180 million euros, from its own sources and from European funds, 36% higher than last year. This money will go with priority to the modernization, expansion, automation and digitization of the natural gas and electricity distribution networks,” says Cristian Secoşan, the general manager of Delgaz Grid.
Investments in 2022
Last year, the company invested 673 million lei (136.5 million euros), of which 390 million lei (79 million euros) represents the value of investments in natural gas distribution.
Natural gas pipelines and connections were modernized (through replacements and cathodic protection) over a length of 278 kilometers. At the same time, the natural gas distribution system was extended by over 600 km, with around 38,500 new consumers connected. In collaboration with the local authorities, eight new natural gas distributions were established in the counties of Iași, Cluj, Maramureș, Botoșani, Neamț and Sibiu, and four metering adjustment stations were modernized to improve the quality of the distribution service.
On the electricity side, investments were made worth 283 million lei (57.5 million euros), of which 26 million lei (5.3 million euros) represent EU funds. The electrical network was modernized along a length of 1,129 km and about 270 remote-controlled equipment (separators and reclosers) were installed in the overhead medium voltage networks. Modernization works were carried out on equipment in 51 substations. Also, 58 new substations were built and more than 310 were modernized.
The network was extended by 566 km and more than 28,000 new consumers were connected. Last year, the number of prosumers reached 5,455, triple compared to 2021.
An important chapter of the investments is the digitization of internal and external processes, last year applications were made available to customers and employees regarding the scheduling of the visit for meter reading, respectively the visit to the public relations centers, for the notification of disturbances or a platform for contractors .
Investments in 2023
This year, the company is set to invest 915 million lei (over 180 million euros).
Natural gas – investments worth 410 million lei (83 million euros) are planned. More than 250 kilometers of natural gas pipelines and connections will be modernized. At the same time, to improve the quality of the service, 10 adjustment-measurement stations will be modernized. In collaboration with the local authorities, 10 new natural gas distribution points will be established in the counties of Iași, Bacău, Cluj, Satu Mare, Botoșani and Suceava. A priority for this year is also the expansion of the natural gas distribution system and the connection of new consumers.
Electricity – investments worth 505 million lei (102 million euros) are scheduled, of which 95 million lei (19 million euros) represent EU funds. The investments aim at the continuation of the SCADA implementation and the automation of the distribution system, SMART metering, the modernization of overhead networks, substations and substations, the expansion of the distribution network for the connection of new consumers, as well as the fulfillment of the requirements of the performance standard.
Projects with European funds – at this moment, six projects worth about 254.5 million lei without VAT (about 51.9 million euros), with financing of 182.3 million lei (about 37.2 million euros) are are in various stages of implementation.
Three of the projects aim at the modernization, in order to take over the electricity produced from renewable resources, of five transformation stations in Vaslui, Botoșani and Suceava counties. Three other projects aim at modernizing the distribution network and installing around 10,000 smart meters for consumers in the municipalities of Iași and Suceava, respectively in Neamț County.
Also this year we planned the modernization of about 1,800 km of network and the installation of 175 remote-controlled equipment (separators and reclosers).
Smart metering – at the end of 2022, around 300,000 consumers had smart meters installed. For the coming years, Delgaz Grid aims to install another 425,000 meters, which means that 47% of customers will have smart meters installed by the end of 2028.