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Sunday, January 27, 2008
Vuk Hamović: “Record income for EFT in 2007”

“Last year was record-breaking for EFT in every sense. We delivered just over 15 000 GWh of energy and achieved a total turnover of over EUR 800 million. This result confirms our position as the leader among energy traders in south-east and central Europe” EFT Group Chairman, Vuk Hamović, said in a statement for BETA news agency.   

Summing up the previous business year, Hamović pointed out that EFT was active in 18 countries, and that 65% of the Group’s transactions were executed in the EU markets. “Today EFT’s portfolio of energy products is greater than those of most power utilities in the region.  This has enabled us to be one of the leading participants on the Austrian energy exchange, and also the biggest supplier to Greece, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania.

Hamović emphasises that the regional electricity market has continued to develop, which is reflected in the capital markets and attitude of the financial institutions towards energy trading in the region. “Funding for EFT’s trading transactions comes from first-class European banks, as well as the international capital markets. The electricity market in the region is now much more liquid than it was in the previous years, transparency is ensured through tender procedures, and the risk factor in these transactions is constantly decerasing.  It is thus not surprising to see as many as 20 energy trading companies now-days operating in the region. Similalry, the largest power companies from the West and Russia are also preparing to enter these markets”.

Referring to EFT’s plans for the coming period, Vuk Hamović explained that by focusing on investments the company is aiming to cover a substantial part of its portfolio from its own power sources and thereby to ensure its long term position in the growingly competitive market. “We have so far realised more than EUR 50 million worth of investments, and are the biggest investor in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The total value of our most important project, the construction of the Stanari thermal power plant near Doboj, will exceed EUR 800 million. This will be the first TPP in the western Balkans to be constructed fully in compliance with the EU directives on environmental protection. Stage one of the project has been successfully completed. From 2013, TPP Stanari will cover about one quarter of the total electricity production in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We expect to sell a significant part of the energy produced in the countries of the region. The project will be funded by bank loans, but we are also well in the process of negotiating funding with potential partners and the European Bank for Reconstrcution and Development. We also expect the start of a major project in Macedonia in 2008, and are considering several other potential investments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Romania”.

Referring to the Serbian energy sector situation, Hamović stated that unfortunately due to the wrong policies over a prolonged period, Serbia has needlessly lost valuable time. “The monopolistic position of EPS is protected by wrong government pricing policy which is used to short-term political goals. In the long run, this policy will turn out to be more costly for the country and its citizens. The poorest citizens and certain institutions like hospitals and schools have to be protected with subsidised electricity prices, but I see no reason for making it possible for steelworks, shops, and cafés to make extra profit in this way. For all these reasons our energy sector is stagnating. Not a single major production capacity has been built in Serbia in the past 30 years, and it is very likely, in spite of all the announcements, that none will be built in the next 10 years. At the same time, the idea of encouraging energy efficiency hasn’t even started to develop while our electricity consumption increases year after year”, Hamović points out.  

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