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Hidroelectrica powers the nation

Article - September 15, 2011
One of the country’s oldest companies has opened up partnership opportunities to capitalize on one of the safest, cleanest and most cost-effective sources of energy
With more than 10 years of operation in Romania, Hidroelectrica has established itself as the country’s most important energ generator, providing roughly 30% of its energy. The Romanian state owns 80% of the power provider, while the remaining 20% belongs to Fondul Proprietatea, a property fund managed by Franklin Templeton in the U.S.

Hidroelectrica operates throughout Romania, taking advantage of its favorable geographical location and terrain that is so conducive to hydropower developments.
One of its biggest developments is the Tarnita Lapustesti hydropower plant, which will pump water into a reservoir and will generate enegy from the stored water. Tarnita Lapustesti will have an installed capacity of 1,000 megawatts and is worth €1 billion ($1.43 billion).Once completed, the installation will also provide services to Romania’s neighboring countries Hidroelectrica also plans to refurbish numerous existing hydropower plants, starting with the historical Bicaz hydropower station, which is already 50 years old and whose modernization will cost approximately $158 million. The company’s renovation plans involve upgrading an entire group of hydropower plants, including larger installations such as the Vidraru on the Arges River and the Mariselu on the Somesul Cald River.

In all, Hidroelectrica manages a total of 232 power plants and small and micro-hydropower facilities. The company is not only revamping its energy installations, but it is also investing in its information technology systems so that all information is available in real time.

Hidroelectrica’s general manager Constantin Trihenea, who has also previously set up his own company and worked as private contractor in the energy, civil, industrial, water supply, and utilities fields, says that throughout the company’s history, it has taken on a wide range of different projects and has developed numerous energy programs, with one of the most recent having been completed in February.

“We managed to complete a very important project for our company with the backing of the World Bank in the form of a loan amounting to €88 million ($126 million),” says Mr. Trihenea. “This project was a very complex large-scale refurbishment program. The hydroelectric power plant has a huge role in the national power system because it supplies auxiliary services and regulates all of the other participants in the energy sector.”

Mr. Trihenea adds that the fourth objective of Hidroelectrica’s management board is to attract private funds to finalize projects up to 2025. The company intends to sell bonds on the stock exchange soon and has already conducted some advanced studies.

Furthermore, according to Hidroelectrica’s general manager, although the company enjoyed revenues of €100 million in 2010, the year was in no way a benchmark year in terms of investments in Romania, as remnants of the global economic crisis remained. “2007, for example, had a different trend and enjoyed spectacular growth. I would like to say that 2011 will be a better year, and I think investments will grow considering that Romania provides many investment opportunities, not only in the energy field, but also in agriculture or industry,” he says.

He continues: “I know that U.S. investors go very far to invest, but I invite them to come and invest in Romania to double their profit and to take it back to the States when they wish to, as now Romania offers enhanced investment conditions and an attractive business environment.”