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Nov 08, 2007 16:46 EEST
(releads with EBRD comment, changes source)</p>FRANKFURT
November 8 (SeeNews) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is concerned that lack of specifics in a Romanian government plan to set up a mammoth energy holding company could slow investments and create a monopoly situation in the EU newcomer, a bank official said on Thursday.
In September, the Romanian government said it planned to set up a holding structure, comprising state-owned energy producers and distributors and privatise the new company by listing its shares on the bourse as part of its energy strategy through 2020.
"The new concept is very general. We don’t know what the specifics are and it is very new, but I am worried that this concept is not gonna bring specifics very quickly and can slow down the process of bringing forward investments, which is absolutely needed in Romania in many areas. And that process, which is already slowed down, it is going to continue to be slowed and not moving forward at all sometimes," Louis Borgo, senior banker at EBRD’s power and energy utilities sector, told reporters on the sidelines of the Emerging Europe Energy Summit, organised by IBP Publishing & Conferences.
"I would say that the national champion can be created in harmony with the EU Directive. Therefore an objection to this is irrelevant if it does go in line with the EU Directive," Borgo said.
Details related to the future energy holding company will be announced most probably in the second half of December, after U.S. company Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) Power completes the feasibility study on the project, Romanian deputy economy minister in charge of energy, Darius Mesca, told reporters at the summit earlier on Thursday.
"I can not tell you more at the moment, but Romania will hold a controlling stake in the company, which does not necessarily mean that it will be a majority stake," Mesca added.
“As you know, we are creating a regional market and what we do not want is something that would create a monopoly situation in Romania; the design of this national champion is going to be a key factor," Borgo said. Romania joined the EU in January.
The new holding structure would comprise hydropower generator Hidroelectrica, nuclear power plant operator Nuclearelectrica, Termoelectrica, and three power distributors, global ratings agency Standard & Poor's said earlier.
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