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Romanian Energy Awards 2017: performance and exceptional accomplishments

The Diplomat - Bucharest celebrated the winners of 21 assigned categories for both conventional and renewable energy, within a prestigious event continuing the annual tradition of acknowledgment of performance and exceptional accomplishments in the Romanian energy field. By Petre Barac

2017-06-20 16:02:52 - From the Print Edition

The sixth edition of the Romanian Energy Awards took place on May 25, at Bucharest′s JW Marriott Hotel, bringing together the who′s who in the energy and natural resources sector in Romania.
The Awards Gala organized by The Diplomat - Bucharest is an elite event and platform to recognize, reward and celebrate the success of the most prominent firms acting in the energy and natural resources field in Romania.

Based on rigorously-researched information and a judging panel formed of prominent names in business, government and academic society, the event established itself as a must-attend in the Romanian energy events calendar. The Awards present an ideal opportunity to seek independent recognition for a particular project or an individual person, to celebrate and raise the profile of your achievements. They recognise the contribution and value to society made every day by those working in the energy industry.
This is a high-profile event, attended by important representatives from the Romanian government, senior figures from Romania's business and civil society and the energy sector community at top levels.

The event enjoyed the presence of partners, such as Electrica, Romelectro, Schneider Electric, Transelectrica, along with the participation of Adrem, CEZ Group, CRE, Enel, EY and Intrarom.
The best managers, practices and projects were awarded within 21 categories by the judging panel, formed of: Iulian Iancu, Committee for Industries and Services - chairperson, Chamber of Deputies; Corina Popescu, former state secretary in the Ministry of Energy; Niculae Havrilet, president, ANRE; Bogdan Chiritoiu, president, Romanian Competition Council; Valeriu Binig, partner, EY; Virgil Musatescu, professor, doctor engineer, Technical University of Bucharest.
The event′s opening speech was given by Robert Tudorache, State Secretary with the Ministry of Energy. He warmly opened the celebration event and thanked the jury and the organizers for the sixth edition of the Romanian Energy Awards Gala.


The prize session was opened with the first award category, for the Oil and Gas Company of the Year, where three nominees competed for the category title: Conpet, Mol Romania and Romgaz. This award honours a business organization demonstrating superior performance in the development, delivery and innovation of oil and gas field, products and services. The prize was received by Dan Adrian Vecerdea, gas storage director, Ploiesti Branch, Romgaz.
Romgaz is the largest natural gas producer and the main supplier in Romania. It is a joint stock company whose majority shareholder is the Romanian State owning a 70 per cent stake. The company is listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and GDRs are transacted on London Stock Exchange. The company has a vast experience in the field of gas exploration and production and a history that began in 1909 with the discovery of the first commercial gas reservoir in the Transylvanian Basin by drilling the Sarmasel well.


This category enjoyed a line-up of well-known projects, such as NIS Petrol, Romgaz and Transgaz and the prize was won by the latter. This award recognizes an oil and gas sector project that has been planned and executed with excellence, delivering significant benefits to stakeholders and community.

"Thank you for this award," said Ion Sterian, administrator and CEO of Transgaz, who added: "The gas pipeline under the Danube, between Giurgiu (Romania) and Ruse (Bulgaria) was the most complex work of its kind in Europe."

The National Gas Transmission Company, Transgaz, established based on Governmental Decision no. 334/28 April 2000, is the Romanian legal entity operating as a trading joint-stock company, under the Romanian legislation and its By-laws. Transgaz aims at the achievement of the national strategy on
transmission, international transit, natural gas dispatching, and research-design in the field of natural gas transmission by performing, under the Romanian legislation, commercial deeds proper to its object of activity agreed upon in its By-laws. For the support of the main object of activity, Transgaz may complementary perform other related activities, in compliance with the legislation in effect and with its own By-laws, except for the purchasing and trading of natural gas from domestic production or import.

Transgaz is the technical operator of the national gas transmission system and it is responsible for its operation under quality, safety, efficiency and environmental conditions.


This category comprised well-known companies with significant history in the Romanian energy sector, such as CE Oltenia, CET Oradea and Nuclearelectrica, with CE Oltenia as the winner. This award honours a business organization demonstrating superior performance in the development, delivery and innovation of electricity generation, products and services.

"Thank you for this prize and I promise you CE Oltenia will remain on the same course and will continue to do its job as usual to benefit us all," said Ionel Ilie, director, Sales Division, CE Oltenia.
Complexul Energetic Oltenia is a 40-year old provider of the National Power System reliability, as the wind does not blow continuously, the sun reduces water flow and the sun does not shine all the time. Instead, the coal of Complexul Energetic Oltenia is able to provide electricity for Romania for the next 40 years and this is only based on the reserves discovered so far. The process of establishing Societatea Complexul Energetic Oltenia S.A., administered in a dualist system by the Directorate and the Supervisory Board, was initiated in accordance with the Government Decision No. 1024/2011 regarding certain measures for reorganizing the electricity producers under the authority of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Business Environment.

Complexul Energetic Oltenia provides over 95 per cent of the lignite production in Romania and generates safe electricity with a significant role on the Ancillary Services Market to maintain the secure and stable operation of the National Power System, not being dependent on weather conditions.


This category comprised only one nominee and of course the winner, namely Romelectro, for its combined cycle thermal power plant in Iernut.
"We hope Romelectro will remain the same company to prove such projects as ours can be also done here in Romania," said Gabriel Coman, sales director at Romelectro.

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.

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 using 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.


The same goes with this category, only one nominee and winner, as Energy-Serv takes home their prize. This award honours a business organization demonstrating superior performance in the development and implementation of energy storage technologies.

Energy-Serv was set-up in 1996 and it is the first private Romanian ESCO-type company. The mission of the company is to contribute to GHG (Green House Gas) emission reduction through better energy efficiency, the decrease of specific fossil fuel consumptions, and efficient use and promotion of renewable energy sources and technologies.
The strategy of the company is to first identify the lowest cost measures and investments with lowest risks and highest possible returns.


This award recognizes a renewable energy sector project that has been planned and executed with excellence, delivering significant benefits to stakeholders and community.
The prize for this category went to Ness Proiect Europe for their steam generating boiler, operating on agricultural biomass.

Ness Proiect Europe is a young company, specialized in a wide range of services specific to the construction industry.
"We approach every project based on the full collaboration with customers, architects and subcontractors, to achieve a single common goal: the successful delivery of those projects we are involved in," according to company's representatives. "Our diversified portfolio in the field of construction and our team′s expertise provide the allocation of human resources and materials appropriate to the specificity of each individual project. Thanks to our specialists′ technical knowledge, the know-how acquired and abilities to work at full capacity of each member of our team, we can anticipate the challenges brought by each individual project, so that we develop solutions that meet all our customer′s requirements provided that we deliver a project created in full responsibility."


This category comprised four nominees, all with notable legal consultancy projects in the energy sector: Clifford Chance Badea, NNDKP, Piperea si Asociatii and Suciu Popa. This award recognizes the exceptional achievements of a law firm that demonstrated a successful track record of deals and projects in the energy sector. The prize was received by Miruna Suciu from Suciu Popa.
"I want to thank our partners and our fantastic team that has joined us since the beginning," said Miruna Suciu, managing partner at Suciu Popa. "The road was not very long, we set up in February 2016. We still have a lot to do, but we are glad that we have succeeded in everything we have set up so far."

The firm represents clients in all areas of business law and has recognized capabilities in Mergers and Acquisitions, Energy and Natural Resources, Litigation, International Arbitration, Capital Markets, Infrastructure, PPP and Public Procurement, Construction, Real Estate, Competition and IP, Insolvency and Restructuring.


This category welcomed nominated companies such as Altius Fotovoltaic, Atlas Copco Romania, Energobit and SAP.
This award recognizes a new technology or design that results in significant resource savings, new approaches in energy practice or innovative change in energy management. The award was received by Cristian Popescu, managing director of SAP Romania.

"We are honoured to receive this award," he said. "We are honoured to contribute to the performance of a Romanian energy company. Hidroelectrica received the 2016 SAP Quality Award for the fastest implementation of an SAP solution. This is the first time SAP has awarded such a prize to a Romanian company. Many thanks and congratulations to Hidroelectrica for their commitment and performance."
SAP, business software solutions provider, recently announced total investments of two billion Euro over the next five years, to provide support for companies and public institutions who want to adopt Internet of Things technologies. SAP launches a programme dedicated to companies wishing to implement pilot projects in this area by offering a fixed cost for the first year of using IoT solutions. The programme, available worldwide, is part of SAP′s strategy to accelerate innovation in IoT, a market estimated to reach 250 billion Euro by 2020.


This category comprised three nominees, all with notable energy services projects: Elsaco Electronic, Energy-Serv and Luxten Lighting Company. The award honours a business organization demonstrating superior performance in the development, delivery and innovation of energy services. The award was received by Silvian Serbanescu, vice president Directorate of Luxten Lighting Company.

Luxten Lighting Group is a 100 per cent Romanian company. It started its activity in 1949, under the name of Electrofar, producing incandescent lamps. In 1959, they began production for fluorescent and mercury solutions. In 2000, Luxten became the first electricity supplier and holds the first license issued in Romania. In 2008, the company owns the majority package for the implementation of the public lighting system in the country. One year later, Luxten began promoting the new high-power LED technology, both for outdoor and interior lighting.


The award for this category was won by EximBank for financing Romelectro in a project in Egypt. EximBank has granted to Romelectro, one of the biggest general contractors in energy projects, a multi-level financing facility amounting to 63 million RON (14 million Euro), for a project that is to be implemented in Egypt by the Romanian company.

"It is a great honour for me to receive this award, but I must say that this is not the first time this transaction is rewarded," said Paul Ichim, vice-president EximBank. "This tells us that there is a great drought in Romanian companies going abroad. There is still a scarcity of Romanian companies looking to invest or get involved in international projects even when some of them have reached full maturity on the local market and are now able to develop their operations abroad. From our perspective, there is an extraordinary potential in this field and I do believe that more and more Romanian entrepreneurs should follow the lead of private companies active in energy that have opened the ways and invested in projects abroad with EximBank support."

Supporting projects in the energy field represents a priority of EximBank, the bank's policy on long term focusing on endorsing projects in the renewable energy line and initiatives aiming at increasing the energetic efficiency using non-reimbursable funds.

The bank is experienced in successful partnerships with companies active in this field and intends to further support such projects. Its most recent partnerships are concluded with Romelectro, one of the biggest general contractors for energy projects, granted a financing facility amounting to 63 million RON, for a project in Egypt, as well as the one with Electrogrup, top player in the field of energy infrastructure, telecom and civil buildings consisting in a financial package of 11 million Euro, for services export.
EximBank has been actively involved for almost 25 years in supporting and promoting the Romanian business environment by endorsing local companies' projects.


This category comprised four nominees: CEZ Romania, Conpet, Energy-Serv and Schneider Electric, with CEZ Romania selected to take the home the prize.
"This award honours us and, at the same time, makes us continue our actions to reduce energy losses," said Eugen Butoarca, executive director of Distributie Oltenia, part of CEZ Romania. "Our Smart Transformation programme started in 2013, with losses of about 13.3 per cent, and with a proper strategy we managed to reach losses of 10.2 per cent, which is great thing for us. We have in mind the benefits to our electricity consumers, for they can receive cleaner energy at an optimal level. In addition, by reducing these losses, we create the premises of new investments in the distribution grids and more efficient maintenance."

Distributie Oltenia is the legal successor of Electrica Oltenia as of 15 March 2007, continuing the exclusive development of electricity distribution business as the owner of the assets necessary for the development of business after the unbundling imposed by European legal requirements. Distributie Oltenia ensures power distribution to more than 1.4 million customers in seven counties from Oltenia: Dolj, Arges, Olt, Gorj, Valcea, Mehedinti and Teleorman. Through its development strategy, Distributie Oltenia aims to improve the level of safety in electricity distribution and reduce energy loss. Other objectives are to improve the level of operational safety and operational safety of electrical installations with reduced maintenance costs and repairs.


The prize for this category went to CEZ Romania, with Electrica being the other nominee. This award honours a public-sector organization, business or community organization that implemented a project in using clean energy, energy saving initiatives, beyond mandatory requirements.

"Distribution Oltenia aims to prepare for the future, to truly become a dynamic, flexible company capable of putting the consumer of electricity at the centre of our actions," said Eugen Butoarca, executive director of Distributie Oltenia. "The consumer is very important and must receive what he is expecting, namely quality services. The Smart Transformation programme is based on a digitization and automation strategy to transform the power distribution network into a smart, adaptable and efficient management network. We have taken important steps in automation and digitization, and the results are beginning to show in the energy quality for our customers."


This award recognizes the lifetime achievements of an individual that demonstrates commitment to the energy sector creating a positive impact with the business he works in. This year's award was won by PhD. Eng. Marius Peculea, member of the Romanian Academy, for his outstanding achievements throughout his entire career.


For the first time at this event, this year's Association/NGO of the year award was shared by two organizations, namely ACUE and CRE, with ARPEE as the third nominee. This award recognizes the achievements of an association or non- governmental organization (NGO) whose activities have had a positive impact on the energy sector.
The prize was received by Corneliu Bodea, president of CRE, and Alina Vereha, media specialist of ACUE.
The Federation of Associations of Energy Utility Companies (ACUE) was constituted to represent, support and protect the interests of its members in relations with public authorities, trade unions and other legal entities and individuals, both nationally and internationally, according to its statute and in accordance with the law.
The Romanian Energy Centre (CRE) is a non-governmental and non-profit organization that represents the interests of state-owned and private companies operating on the Romanian energy market towards national and European institutions.


This category comprised three nominees: CEZ Romania, Enel Romania and Schneider Electric Romania.
This award honours a public-sector organization or a private company demonstrating superior performance in implementing customer-centric strategies in energy and power projects, products and services. It refers to benefits generated by digitalization in distributed energy resources and marketplace, preventative and condition-based maintenance and predictive outage, smart grid and smart pipes, and customer interaction.

The prize for this category was received by Razvan Copoiu, South and East Europe Vice President Industry Business, Schneider Electric, who said: "I would like to thank the jury and the organizers for thinking of awarding a prize for such a category. Our technology strategy will always be based on the feedback we receive from our customers. We have interviews with consumers throughout the year to see what they want from us and what they want us to improve and to do better. This prize is also a reward for Schneider Electric′s activity in Romania. We are here for 20 years and we will continue to stay with our clients."


This award honours the most resource efficient and least polluting public-sector organization, business or community organization. The three nominees for this category were CE Oltenia, Elsaco Electronic and Siveco Romania, with the latter one to win the award.
"It's an award that encourages us to continue our projects," said Irina Piti, sales director-public sector, Siveco Romania. "It's a good feeling to know you can do something to protect the environment, even though we are talking about IT systems."

Siveco Romania develops and exports software products and consultancy projects with high added value to countries within the European Community, The Middle East, North Africa and the CIS area. It also provides IT services directly to the European Commission organizations. The company is specialized in developing large and complex IT projects for education, health, agriculture, customs organizations, European institutions, private companies, and the public sector.


This year's Jury Special award went to Enel Romania for their ‘City of Energy' project in Ferentari.
The project contributes to improving and changing the cities into colourful places as a support for urban art. Following the same pattern the company has implemented in Spain, City of Energy was also well received in Romania to become a successful initiative for the local communities.


A category with three nominees on its listing, such as Allianz, Mazarine Energy and Met Group, with Spencer Coca, country manager for Mazarine Energy, as the prize winner. He said: "I want to thank the jury and the organizers for honouring us with this prize. You may ask why we came to Romania in the crisis. The reason is very simple. Romania has the best tradition in the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the world. We want to also contribute to this tradition."
Mazarine Energy was founded in 2013 and is a subsurface-driven private oil and gas exploration and production company focused on early-stage exploration and field development.


This category comprised four nominees: CE Oltenia, Electrica, Hidroelectrica, and Mol Romania. The big prize was taken home by Ovidiu Agliceru, president of the management board of Hidroelectrica. He said:"This award is for all the employees of the 202 power plants of Hidroelectrica, who knew how to produce as much energy as it was needed and when it was needed. We must also not forget the 1,400 employees of the Hidroserv branch who had a contribution, even if the company is currently going through insolvency. After four years of hard work, Hidroelectrica became the most valuable company of the Romanian state. We have managed to keep the upward trend after the insolvency and I want to thank everyone who has contributed to these results."

In 2016, Hidroelectrica was granted first place in Top 100 most valuable companies in Romania for the first time in its history. The company was evaluated at 2.9 billion Euro, 16 per cent more than in 2015, thus becoming the most valuable company from Romania and surpassing its biggest competitor, OMV Petrom.


The Energy Manager of the Year award was won by the general manager of Romgaz, Virgil Metea, who thanked the whole company team for the good results they had last year.
Romgaz undertakes geologic research to discover new gas reserves, produces methane by exploiting the reservoirs included in the company portfolio, stores natural gas in the underground deposits, interventions, workover and special operations on wells and technological transport.
Starting in 2013, Romgaz extended its scope of work by taking over the Iernut thermoelectric power station, and thus also becoming an electric power supplier. The company dwells on the implementation of the latest technology in geologic exploration, gas production and underground storage, financed from internal or external sources. The company economic and financial position is characterized by the profit constancy and solvency. Thus, Romgaz is one of the state-owned companies that have fulfilled all the conditions for economic growth, turning into one of the most important companies in Romania.


The award for Energy Personality of the Year was presented by Valeriu Binig, partner of EY Romania. For the first time at this gala, the prize went to two of the most important energy specialists in Romania:Corina Popescu and Radu Dudau.

"The award is given to that personality who had the biggest impact on the energy sector in that year," said Binig, who added: "We believe that the biggest impact element of last year was the emergence of the Energy Strategy draft, a document that gave birth to many debates. We must admit that, after many years and many governments, there have been some young people who stepped in and managed to put a strategy on the table of the Romanian and the energy sector in just one year. It was a team of more than 300 specialists that managed to stay on the same track with consistency and perseverance and the document they produced was far superior to any other previous attempts.
Popescu, former Secretary of State at the Ministry of Energy, said she was honoured to receive this prize together with her colleague Radu Dudau: "It was not just Radu and I. We had an extraordinary team and I would love to see this strategy approved in the end. We had many young specialists who supported us in this activity and I'm thankful for that."

Dudau pointed out that many people weren't so happy when the strategy emerged. "We thought the strategy was a good thing," he said. "We have made a great effort and with a relatively small number of people. It is important to work together with professionalism, courage and honesty. Thank you for this award."

The sixth edition of the Romanian Energy Awards enjoyed a significant presence of managers in energy, representing the largest companies and projects, both Romanian-based and international, covering all energy fields. The Diplomat - Bucharest team sends the warmest thanks to all who have contributed to the success of the event, and invites you to the next year′s edition of the Romanian Energy Awards Gala.

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