Romania approves electricity sector restructuring

The Romanian government has approved power sector restructuring that is to create a private holding company to integrate government-owned transmission, distribution, and production of electricity from nuclear, thermal, and hydroelectric assets.

Finance and Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian said September 5 the government would own 25 to 40 percent of the holding company. A 20 percent stake is to be held by investment fund Fondul Proprietatea, which was established to compensate Romanians whose property was seized under communism. Remaining shares are to be listed on the Bucharest stock exchange.

The restructuring envisages investment of about 35 billion euros (US$48 billion) in the power sector. The government hopes to double power generation to about 100 TWh by 2020, more than estimated domestic consumption. Vosganian said Romania could become an important electricity exporter in the region by 2020.

Romania hopes to increase efficiency, continue restructuring, seek private partnerships, increase uses of renewable energy, diversify import sources and transport routes, modernize lines, and protect critical infrastructure. The government plans to increase the amount of renewable energy to account for 33 percent of overall power consumption by 2010.

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