Acasă » General Interest » Mintia deal may not pass through CSAT – sources

Mintia deal may not pass through CSAT – sources

6 September 2022
General Interest
Bogdan Tudorache

The transaction by which CE Hunedoara, owned by the Romanian state through the Ministry of Energy, was sold to Iraqis from Mass Group Holding may not be approved by the Supreme Council of National Defense (CSAT), industry sources told Energynomics.

“There was a takeover project by Romgaz. It was ‘forgotten’ in a drawer. Now, the transaction still has to pass the CSAT, we will see…”, said the quoted sources.

In a previous post on Facebook, the social-democrat senator Ștefan Radu Oprea stated that Mintia was sold “after at least 150 million euros were invested in refurbishment”.

“We are receiving assurances from the relevant ministry that drastic conditions are imposed for a new, greener production capacity of 800 MW to replace the old groups that operated on a coal basis. It is incomprehensible why the minister chose this method of ‘privatization’ by closing the thermal power plant”, wrote the senator.

In response, the Minister of Energy, Virgil Popescu says that the Mintia Thermal Power Plant operated without an environmental permit and until it was stopped in April 2021, it caused another debt of 680 million lei. So more than the 150 million euros that were never used in re-engineering.

“Through the merger and cancellation of all debts to the state budget, the Hunedoara Energy Complex was practically established at the end of 2012, which had the Mintia Thermal Power Plant and the Paroșeni Thermal Power Plant, and in 2013 the four mines were added. They started with zero debt. In 2019, in November, insolvency was pronounced. Can you imagine that in these years of operation it reached 1.5 billion euros in debt? 75% of these debts are to the state budget, 25% are to other companies that contracted materials, services to CE Hunedoara. The Mintia thermal power plant operated without an environmental permit, and by the time it was shut down in April 2021, it had caused another 680 million lei in damage. So, more than the 150 million euros that were never used in re-engineering”, stated Popescu.

According to other sources, around 230 million euros have been invested in Mintia since 2005.

What the new owner says

On Tuesday, September 6, Ahmad Ismail Saleh, the president of MAS Group, which bought the assets of the Mintia thermal power plant in a tender, came to Romania to give assurances about the good intentions and to present the future investment of one billion euros in a new plant on gas at Mintia, according to

“As soon as we receive the necessary authorizations, we are ready to start the investment. We have two leading companies, Siemens and GE, with whom we have partnerships and are ready to supply the necessary equipment. The total value of the investment in this project is of one billion euros. During the works, we need 600 people from the area as future employees. During the operation, we need 200-250 people,” Saleh said in a press conference held in Mintia.

“I can confirm here in front of everyone that we will not touch any old equipment of the current plant, until the construction of the new plant begins. We are here to build, not to dismantle,” the official said, amid growing fears that before anything happens at Mintia, all current equipment will be cut and sold for scrap.

He reiterated that the new plant will not use coal at all, only natural gas. On the other hand, the new generating capacity will not produce thermal energy for the city of Deva (as the old Mintia thermal power plant did), but the official said that, following the discussion with the local authorities, as part of the investment and without any additional costs, “small stations” will be built to produce thermal energy for the city, writes

“It wouldn’t even have been able to produce thermal energy in a centralized system, the centralized thermal system in Deva is destroyed, it no longer has any subscribers, as, by the way, happened in many cities in Romania. Most of the former subscribers now have their own gas centrals,” a market source told Energynomics.

An example is the schools in Deva. After the closure of Mintia, in February 2021, over 4,000 children were sent home, without heat and hot water from schools and kindergartens. The town hall had to finance about 20 gas thermal power plants with 3 million euro, partially solving the problems related to thermal power in the city.

Mass Group Holding, registered in the Cayman Islands/Great Britain, headquartered in Amman, Jordan, established in 1994, employs 2,500 people and has over 8,600 MW of energy capacity. The group concentrates its activities in electricity generation, cement production and iron and steel production. In electricity generation, it has power plants that generate 8,600 MW in BOO (Build, Operate & Own) mode, of which 4,500 MW in Baghdad, 4,000 MW in northern Iraq (the capacities in Iraq produce electricity based on natural gas) and 100 MW in Jordan (where it’s wind energy; the company has 28 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 3.6 megawatts). The company annually produces 8 million tons of cement and 1.25 million tons of steel.

Autor: Bogdan Tudorache

Active in the economic and business press for the past 26 years, Bogdan graduated Law and then attended intensive courses in Economics and Business English. He went up to the position of editor-in-chief since 2006 and has provided management and editorial policy for numerous economic publications dedicated especially to the community of foreign investors in Romania. From 2003 to 2013 he was active mainly in the financial-banking sector. He started freelancing for Energynomics in 2013, notable for his advanced knowledge of markets, business communities and a mature editorial style, both in Romanian and English.

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