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de Adrian N Ionescu , 19.11.2018

The state demands increasingly higher dividends from reserves and previous results of Romgaz and Transgaz, even though their profits in the first nine months of 2018 have significantly declined compared to the same period last year.

The two companies, the same as Nuclearelectrica or Hidroelectrica, have large and costly investment projects.

Transgaz (TGN), the operator of the state gas transport monopoly through national pipelines, obtained profit by 31% lower (RON 299.3 million) compared to the first nine months of 2017, but the state would have been ready to take all their reserves this year as well.

The distribution of reserves “will have an immediate negative effect on the company’s financial strength and ability to finance strategic investment projects,” said the company at the request of the Ministry of Economy.

Transgaz has to spend almost EUR 300 million on building pan-European pipeline BRUA – Phase I, in addition to European non-reimbursable funds.

After all, the Ministry of Economy did not hesitate to patch and mend the budget deficit, even with only RON 8 million representing dividends from reserves, in addition to the 309 million paid from the 2017 profit.

For its part, Romgaz (SNG) saw its profit reduced by 14% to RON 1,026 million in the first nine months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, but the Ministry of Energy will take RON 501 million as additional dividends from reserves.

Not less than RON 1,344 million gross dividends paid from SNG’s 2017 profit for will be added.

Instead, SNG’s major investment projects have to wait:

  • Iernut thermoelectric power plant,
  • the extension of Mintia power plant,
  • the development of the new deposit at Caragele, since older ones have ended
  • a possible development of the fertilizers sector, which could use also the natural gas from the Black Sea.

Romgaz achieved only 68.4% of the 2017 investment program of RON 1.14 billion after paying RON 960 million as dividends from the 2016 profit and the additional dividends up to RON 1,149 million.

Nuclearelectrica (SNN), despite its high financing need for extending the life of Reactor 1, was forced to pay RON 238 million to the Energy Ministry, after a payment of RON 184 million from the 2017 profit.

Last but not least, Hidroelectrica, controlled by the state which holds 80% of the shares, will pay additional dividends of RON 550 million in total from reserves, of which RON 440 million will go to the Ministry of Energy.

Hidroelectrica has already distributed dividends of RON 1,134 billion this year, from the 2017 net profit of over RON 1.6 billion.

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