Romelectro Goes Global!
Romelectro is one of the most important EPC contractors in Romania for complex projects in the energy field. The company has over 45 years of experience in the field. It started out as a Contractor and Supplier for power projects in foreign countries and later addressed the local Romanian market.
In September 2015, the Administration Board installed a new executive management. Cristian Secosan became General Manager. Very soon after the changes, a reengineering programme was launched.
Three main objectives were established as company development targets, all aimed at a better positioning in the market and at efficient conditions based on current practices of corporate management: consolidation in the energy market, extension to new markets -- the most important being non-power industries -- and a serious return to international markets.
The energy market has evolved over several decades according to laws and trends that are difficult to predict, influenced by unforeseen events or political reconsiderations. The position assumed by Romelectro is that of general contractor and project developer based on its knowledge of the technological novelties of the market, market trends and its special power of adapting to them.
One thing demonstrated in recent years is that while the Romanian energy market represented a less-than-ideal investment, the external markets in many regions of the world boasted more generous portfolios of projects, with clear financing resources for all power segments: generation, transmission, and distribution.
Finally, the idea of expanding to non-power industries as a new market segment is based on the capabilities of all the Group's companies; from auditing and pre-investment consultancy, to execution and commissioning of valuable solutions for increasing energy efficiency and power quality, to implementing new generation sources to reduce the impact on the environment. This idea is valid not only for Romania, but also for international markets.
Success stories outside Romania
The story of Romelectro began outside Romania in the early 1970s, with complex energy projects and equipment supply contracts in the Middle East. Later it expanded into other regions of the world, as Romanian engineers working abroad were highly appreciated.
For more than 30 years the company has built a great reputation not only in this region, but also in South East Asia, North Africa and South America. Some of that reputation has persisted through the decades to modern times, where it has helped to reopen doors to key energy clients.
During the 1990s Romelectro narrowed the focus of its business area to the local Romanian power market due to a generous influx of new and accessible opportunities!
Back to foreign markets
When the late-2000s economic crisis came, freezing most local power projects, the moment inevitably arrived when strategic thinking prompted a re-evaluation of targeted geographic business areas.
The initial step was to start analysing the areas where future investments in large scale power projects were anticipated. Afterwards a detailed study for each country and region was developed, followed by a risk analysis and SWOT analyses.
Closed to big international players in Egypt
Egypt is currently one of the most dynamic markets in the world, for all economic and social sectors including energy, where very attractive contracts can be found.
Various companies and international financial institutions compete to win and finance these energy contracts The figures proposed are ambitious but Egyptians vow to attain them. So far they have succeeded!
Currently in Egypt there are projects in the gas plants (all combined cycle) of nearly 20,000 MW, at various stages of investment. Meanwhile they are preparing investments in coal-fired power plants which will add up to about 18,000 MW within the next ten years.
Obviously all this power must be collected and transported, hence the impressive figures of investments in power transmission, including transit networks reaching from the Middle East to South Europe.
There are many international firms that have rushed to enter this investment program in Egypt. Romelectro is one of them.
The first contract was concluded in April when Romelectro signed a contract with Orascom Constructions for the execution of Unit 1 of 1,200 MW at the Burullus thermal power plant, a high-efficiency power unit operating in combined cycle gas - steam turbine. As part of this activity, some months ago Romelectro established its own branch, Romelectro Egypt. This project is in its advanced stages, whereupon the company will move about 200 Romanian specialists and workers to the site. Many local companies have joined Romelectro in this endeavour too", said Mr Ioan Nicoara, Romelectro Country Manager.
Thus, Romelectro returns to Egypt after ten years. Because for sure it had left behind a very good image.
Stejaru Hydro Power Plant
Romelectro and Litostroj Power (Slovenia) were jointly awarded a contract worth 78 million Euro from Hidroelectrica in mid-2015. The scope of works consists of the full refurbishment of six hydro power units having a total installed power of 210 MW, as well as of the whole assembly of mechanical, hydro and electric equipment within the plant itself, and the pressure node, the external electrical substations of 220/110 kV, and the automation system in order to bring everything up to the current level of technology, extending their service lifetime by 30 years.
Mr. Valeriu Stan, the project director, declared: "In the last months of 2016 we continued the contracting of the main equipment, the list of suppliers including a number of companies well-known on the domestic and international markets, such as: Siemens, Emerson, GE Grid Romania, Retrasib, and ICPE- ACTEL.
At this time, the basic engineering is completed. The completion of this stage for the 76 functional units of the plant is estimated by the first half of 2017. The work is coordinated and integrated by ISPE -- the Institute for Studies and Power Engineering -- in the capacity of general designer, together with specialists from Litostroj Power, CKD Blansko Engineering (Czech Republic), General Design Tech (Romania) and in cooperation with the equipment suppliers.
The construction works started several months ago, and are ongoing at the new heavy equipment warehouse. The objective is fully operational, with another existing facility already available for storage of equipment and materials.
Meanwhile testing is scheduled of the 50 MW turbine model. At the same time a Technical Project is being developed for the Francis turbines of 50 MW, corresponding to hydro aggregates no. 6 and 5, which will undergo refurbishment as part of the first wave in 2017 and 2018.
The Stejaru hydropower rehabilitation project proves Romelectro′s capabilities to lead complex contracts with respect to any technical conditions, under a severe time schedule, to satisfy a demanding and competitive client.
Overhead electric lines in Kosovo
Another market segment of Romelectro is Power Transmission an Distribution. One year ago Romelectro won the international tender and signed the contract for the execution of high voltage power lines for the company KOSTT, the Kosovo Transmission System Operator.
The 7.5 million Euro investment will be financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The work consists of the implementation of five sections of 220 kV and 110 kV transmission lines, single and double circuit, with both overhead lines and the underground cable.The contract offers the opportunity to involve in its execution all the companies of the Romelectro Group and many other Kosovo or Romanian companies. The engineering and design will be provided by ISPE (Institute for Studies and Power Engineering), metal towers will be manufactured and tested by CELPI Bucharest, and Electromontaj Carpati Sibiu specialists will assist with implementation and commissioning.
Romelectro won this international tender presenting the best offer, both technically and financially.
The countries of former Yugoslavia are of particular interest to Romelectro, because there are significant investments in new power generating capacities or in retrofitting of existing ones, as well as upgrading and expanding its transmission and distribution networks.
This project is part of a broader portfolio of works, through which the Balkan countries will consolidate their power transmission systems to improve quality and safety of power supply and ensure regional interconnection.
Bradu - a strategic substation of the Romanian Transmission System
In the Romanian National Power System, the electrical substation of Bradu (Arges county) represents one of the key nodes, because the substation is the main collector of hydropower energy, from the 220kV Arefu, Raureni and Stuparei substations ring and from the 110kV distribution network, which is then fed into 400kV and 220kV networks. It is also one of the main energy suppliers for the Targoviste industrial area and its surroundings and sometimes even for the Bucharest metropolitan area.
Romelectro signed an EPC contract with Transelectrica, the Romanian Transmission System Operator, for a full retrofitting project including engineering, procurement, construction, erection, testing and commissioning of the substation. The bidding consortium consisted of Romelectro as leader and Electromontaj Carpati Sibiu, another member of Romelectro Group.
Considering the importance of this transmission substation, the age of existing equipment, and current regulations, it was a must to renew the installations at all voltage levels (400, 220, 110 and 20kV) including the transformer units, by implementing state of the art technology.
The works will be performed without long-term outage of overhead lines circuits. After an elaborate plan agreed upon with the system operator (DEN), the works requires minimal interruptions of live circuits, thus keeping a high degree of system security.
The primary circuit equipment to be replaced during modernization includes several interconnection autotransformers of 400/220kV, one 200MVA interconnection autotransformer of 220/110kV, several 110/20kV distribution transformers, and more than 60 double or single bus bar switchgears (at all high voltages).
For 400kV and 20kV units the system is air insulated, while at 220kV and 110kV SF6 inert gas insulates the switchgear.
Relating to the protection, control and telecommunication system a state-of-the-art substation automation system enables real-time collection and display of electrical information, secure operator supervision and control and efficient management of energy delivery. Finally, the supply includes an auxiliary power system and backup diesel generators.
The project is scheduled to be commissioned in two stages, first 400kV and 220kV in the first half of 2017, then 110kV and 20kV in 2017-2018.
Romelectro invests in Saudi Arabia
A region of the highest interest is the Persian Gulf area and particularly Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom launched last year "Saudi Vision 2030", a very ambitious development program. Over the next 25 years, it is estimated that about 117 billion USD will be invested only in the country's power sector. However, for the power projects in non-power industries the figures are also quite formidable.
When it was decided to thoroughly investigate opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the need for a local partner became very useful, whereupon the setting up of a Limited Liability Company was considered the best procedure for this type of business.
As a result, Romelectro Arabia LLC, a Saudi juridical entity with Romelectro as major shareholder is now officially in operation.
"Currently the team in Saudi Arabia is employed in local marketing activities, promoting the services offered by the newly registered company, by the entire Romelectro Group and also by many other Romanian companies available to come together with us," said Ovidiu Popescu, President of the newborn company.
Iernut Gas Fired Power Plant
The newest complex project assumed by Romelectro is a green-field project in the field of power generation: Romgaz, the Romanian operator for gas exploration, decided to build a high-efficiency power plant in the combined cycle technology, producing 430 MW in Iernut.
Romelectro in consortium with Duro Felguera Spain won a contract having a total value of 245 million Euro. The commissioning is planned for the end of 2019. It is the most important investment promoted by a state-owned company in power generation since 1989.
Hub of companies
The Romelectro Group will continue to participate in local and international tenders of complex works, focusing on implementing these projects involving as many Romanian companies as possible.
Relating mainly to export activities, Romelectro has concluded already partnerships agreements with engineering, manufacturing, construction and erection companies, who agreed to participate in a business closed to a company who has invested heavily in market entry, obtaining approvals and qualifications, opening a representation offices or a branches in the country where the project will be done. All those companies show a great willingness to collaborate with Romelectro!
Romelectro will continue to apply this procedure of gathering and combining Romanian forces as long as they are still competitive and available for international exigent markets.