Legislative changes in 2021 and 2022 led to the decapitalization of natural gas supply and distribution companies, said Andra Malanca, commercial director of Megaconstruct, during the “Future of utilities – 2022” conference, organized by Energynomics. The lack of predictability, which overlaps with a labor crisis and makes it impossible to conclude long-term contracts with customers, makes it difficult to continue the business, she added.
“The legislative changes of the last two years led to the decapitalization of companies active in the natural gas supply sector. We want a balanced market where we can take our time with the role we have, not waste our time trying to constantly adapt to new legislative conditions. The lack of predictability makes it difficult to continue the business. It is true that it is a geopolitical context that required the taking of emergency measures, but we believe that their application must be done coherently and clearly for market participants,” said Malanca.
She added that in the last two years, Megaconstruct was obliged, by law, to expand the natural gas network without feasibility studies and with costs that were not justified. In addition, ANRE obliged gas distributors to fully finance the connection costs of new households and non-household customers. Thus, last year the company financed the connection of new customers with 5 million lei, and this year the amount related to this activity reached 10 million. Even if in the meantime the legislation has been corrected, the company has not yet recovered the amounts invested and will therefore integrate them into the rates applied in the relationship with customers.
The company is also faced with the reduction of gas sources and the impossibility of supporting, in the relationship with customers, medium or long-term contractual offers to customers. At the same time, banks are not interested in financing energy operators.
Megaconstruct was established in Romania in 1993 and has the concession of the public natural gas distribution service in a number of 25 municipalities, cities and communes in eight counties. The company has 25,000 customers, and last year it distributed 661,572 MWh of natural gas.
Currently, the company is working on the creation and expansion of the natural gas distribution infrastructure in Comana, Giurgiu County, and Borcea, Călărași County. Both works started this year and are expected to be completed in two years.
The “Future of utilities – 2022” conference was organized by Energynomics, with the support of our partners: Eaton Electric, Horváth, Megaconstruct, Photomate, SAS Romania.