Romania: Committee to check investments in electrical grid

An interinstitutional committee set up at the proposal of the Energy Ministry will assess the situation of the Romanian electrical grid and the way energy distributors have fulfilled their investment promises.

The Government approved the committee via a memorandum in a cabinet meeting. It will operate for one year, but its activity could be extended.

“2017 has confronted us with many extreme weather episodes. We had to deal with hundreds of broken poles, broken lines and hundreds of thousands of Romanians without electricity every time,” energy minister Toma Petcu said yesterday, reports local

The extent of the damage indicates that distribution networks are in a poor state, he added. The committee will check whether the investments planned by the distribution operators were made and whether they were carried out properly.

The committee also wants to see if the foreign energy companies active in Romania respect the same standards as in their countries of origin, Petcu explained.

Romania’s energy strategy project estimates that the electrical grid needs investments of about EUR 500 million between 2017 and 2030. Investments include equipment and technologies that make the transition to “smart grids”.

The electricity distribution in Romania is split among state-controlled firm Electrica, Italian group Enel, Czech group CEZ, and German group E.On, who hold regional monopolies in operating the medium voltage power lines.