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Romanian Energy Awards 2015 - Commitment, a KPI indicator in energy

In May this year, after more than a month of intricate deliberation process conducted by a prominent Jury, The Diplomat - Bucharest celebrated the winners of 20 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 sector

2015-06-13 18:54:12 - From the Print Edition

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The fourth edition of the Romanian Energy Awards of this year marks also an anniversary moment for The Diplomat - Bucharest, celebrating the 11 years of journalism and business events in the Romanian market. In order to support the performance celebration in the energy sector in Romania, the organizers brought to the festivity event's table the yearly edition of the Romanian Energy and Resources Overview 2015, a summary of the main events, projects, legal and fiscal updates defining the energy sector in Romania at this moment.
Continuing each year's tradition, the Romanian Energy Awards 2015 brought together the Who's Who of the Romanian energy sector and the Gala was attended by more than 150 top managers and influencers on the local energy market, representing leading companies, providers and distributors, government officials and regulatory authorities. Also, the event enjoyed a significant presence of partners, such as gold partners CEZ Group and Veolia, partners Adrem Invest, EnergoBit, EximBank, Vimetco Alro, strategic partners Competition Council, The Association of Electricity Suppliers in Romania (AFEER), Romanian Association for Promoting Energy Efficiency (ARPEE), Romanian National Committee of CIGRE, Association of Companies for Energy Utilities (ACUE), COGEN Romania, Romanian Energy Centre - CRE, Transelectrica, World Energy Council. Also, the event benefited from the participation of EY, Intrarom, Nalco Romania, Retrasib and the venue support of Lacerta and the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The best managers, practices and projects were awarded within 20 categories by the judging panel, formed of nine prominent names in the energy field, companies and authorities: Iulian Iancu, Committee for Industries and Services - Chairperson, Chamber of Deputies; Alexandru Valeriu Binig, Partener EY; Mihai Albulescu, State Secretary, Ministry of Energy and SMEs; Elena Popescu, General Director of the Energy and Environment Direction, Ministry of Energy and SMEs; Bogdan Marius Chiritoiu, President of the Romanian Competition Council; Zoltan Nagy-Bege, Member of the Regulatory Board, ANRE; Silvia Vlasceanu, Executive Director of the Association of Energy Utilities (ACUE); Ciprian Diaconu, Director, Transelectrica; Virgil Musatescu, Professor, Doctor Engineer, Technical University of Bucharest.
The Romanian Energy Awards' 20 categories recognized the outstanding success of firms and individuals in special projects and areas of business as well as overall involvement in the development of the country's business climate. This is a high profile event, attended by most important representatives from the Romanian government, senior figures from Romania's business and civil society and the energy and natural resources sector community at top level.
The event's opening speech was given by Iulian Iancu, Committee for Industries and Services - Chairperson, Chamber of Deputies, who warmly offered an overall definition of the celebration event. "The celebratory day of the energy sector comes to underline a year defined by some of the greatest challenges met by the global environment. Allow me to make a parallel between the celebration day, the joy and the energy, in the context that we are all facing right now. Last year and this year also, are special years because in the top ten greatest challenges are concepts such as: social equity, first of all. Let us remember that 50 per cent of humankind owns only ten per cent of overall global revenues. Not to mention that in the US, one per cent of leaders own 25 per cent of all revenues of the country. The second largest challenge is unemployment, due to the globally-restructuring economy, the technological revolution and the atomized concentration of workplaces. The third biggest challenge is the geopolitical conflict in the Middle East and at the Ukrainian border. An international agency pointed to the world leaders as being accountable for all these factors, as they have been unable to find any concrete and durable solutions for climatic changes, recession or armed conflicts. It is possible to say that we assist to an involution of democracy's concepts, by having institutions stuck in the 19th century, run by people of the 20th century, having to deliver thinking for problems of the 21th century. Within this context, the main focus should be an economy run by healthy and modern people. However, all these challenges find their answer in the energy field. As a paradox, a large share of these challenges is triggered by energy field itself, through the struggle for raw materials and energy utilization manners. That is why experts in energy are invited to such a day meant to celebrate and acknowledge their passion and time spent in running this strategic sector, as they also came up with solutions and solving concepts for some of the mentioned challenges. As they say, the world should be watched through the lens of gratitude."
The winners' announcement session for the first part of the celebration events was opened by Martin Zmelik, Country Manager CEZ Group in Romania CEO and President of the Management Board of CEZ Romania, who sent his congratulations to winners and mentioned their milestones and achievements. "We are honored to be partners to such a remarkable Gala dinner. I believe it is very important to have an event that outlines important achievements in a very challenging environment. As company, we are already active for 20 years in Romania so we have a deep knowledge on the field and its challenges. More than ever, it is important to have such an event dedicated to those who achieve important milestones in the industry and besides this, an event that join us together as industry and colleagues, winners and nominees."

Energy Deal of the Year - A milestone listing

The first session was opened with the first award category, for the Energy Deal of the Year, where five nominees competed for the category title: Electrica for the Stock Exchange listing, MOL Romania, for acquisition of ENI Romania, GDF Suez Energy Romania for the takeover of an important share percentage of CONGAZ Constanta, Oil Depol Service for the acquisition of Ecomaster from KMG and the last but not least, SGB SMIT International Gmbh. for the takeover of an important title share of Retrasib and Trafo Proiect. The award for the category was presented by Elena Popescu, General Director of the Energy and Environment Direction, Ministry of Energy and SMEs: "There were categories where the team of Judges found it difficult to reach a consensus regarding the winner but in this category it was not the case. The Bucharest and London stock exchange listings of Electrica marked the greatest success on the capital markets in Romania so far, and the two billion RON attracted through the listings, will make Electrica into a strong company, with a real potential to emerge on regional markets if the company shareholders decide. We want to see a strong company at the European level." The commitment to this goal was also reiterated by Alexandra Borislavschi, Managing Director of Corporate Finance and Governance, who received the award.

Energy Financing Award - Acknowledgment of a long-time commitment

This category had three nominees: Eximbank, Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) and EBRD. Alexandru Valeriu Binig, Partner EY handed the award to the winner, by saying that the winning bank is the largest in Romania regarding the assets volume and number of clients. Also, it is a traditional banking partner for the conventional energy projects but it also started financing projects in cogeneration. In 2014, it achieved 140 million Euro in financing, with 700 million Euro of exposure in this sector. It financed STAER's wind park at Crucea, in Tulcea, five photovoltaic parks of 16.1 MW, a biogas power unit of 1.5 MW, a 50 million USD participation in a syndicated loan for KMG international, among others. The description defined BCR as the winner for this category, and the prize was received by Ioana Gheorghiade, Executive Manager of the Public Sector and Infrastructure Financing Division at BCR, who underlined the bank's commitment for the energy sector within a challenging but also promising environment.

Energy Law Firm of the Year - Advising with energy

This category comprised four nominees, all with notable legal consultancy projects in the energy sector: DLA Piper Dinu Sca, Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii, CMS Cameron Mckenna and Kinstellar. Elena Popescu, General Director of the Energy and Environment Direction, Ministry of Energy and SMEs added that this category took into account the law firms' presence in the energy projects and their relationship with investors, and mentioned that the winner has a wide range of such projects, from renewable, to oil and gas, nuclear, and conventional energy. The winner for this category, the law firm of Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii has notable experience in natural resources matters and has assisted different investors with operational, regulatory and corporate matters. Also, according to company information, Sorin Vladescu, associated lawyer with the company and recipient of the award "has an impressive record in the energy sector; he advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on energy performance contracts, while Cristian Radu and Sebastian Radocea were promoted to the partnership in January 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Energy Manager of the Year - Overcoming all

One of the most reputed categories, the title of Energy Manager of the Year was targeted by Ioan Rosca - CEO Electrica SA, Florentina Totth - Country President Schneider Electric Romania, Kinga Daradics - CEO MOL Romania, Eric Stab - CEO GDF Suez and Victor Ionescu - General Director OPCOM. According to Iulian Iancu, Committee for Industries and Services - Chairperson, Chamber of Deputies who presented this category, the winner had its share of applause but also reproach along past years, at the helm of an institution formed 15 years ago that had been born practically from scratch. "They started in 2003 and made a supernatural effort to develop a stand-alone institution that, nowadays, is defined by a significantly interesting activity. "The award is a form of recognition for an institution competing with markets such as Germany, France, Italy and which proved their professional commitment to apply the energy program on the local market, in its role of Romanian gas and electricity market operator - OPCOM," Iancu said. The general manager of OPCOM, Victor Ionescu, offered his speech at receiving the award by saying that "OPCOM activity may seem sometimes rough but also extremely rigorous." Victor Ionescu has over 30 years' experience in the energy sector, with over 15 years at OPCOM.

Energy Initiative of the Year - A Giant entrepreneurial match

This category enjoyed a large spectrum of initiatives in the energy sector, delivered by institutions, companies and associations such as: technical university in Cluj-Napoca, Transelectrica SA, Romgaz SA, Monsson and Adrem Invest - E.ON Romania joint venture. Silvia Vlasceanu, Executive Director of the Association of Energy Utilities (ACUE) handed the award to the category winner - the joint venture of Adrem Invest and E.ON. Corneliu Bodea, co-founder of Adrem Invest said at receiving the prize: "I have the belief that, in the energy sector, it is time to turn towards the consumer. So far, the energy field benefited from a strong attention drawn by its technical and operational process. This prize acknowledges the possibility and opportunity that an international giant can partner with a smaller local company and generate successful business results." Catalin Stancu, Corporate Director for Strategy & Business Development at E.ON, added that "the partnership is celebrating one year of functioning and the current results show that the partnership with Adrem was salutary, due to a coherent consensus in decision making processes."

Energy Personality of the Year - Pursuing milestone goals

A category with prominent names on its listing, such as: Niculae Havrilet, President, ANRE, Daniela Lulache, General Director, Nuclearelectrica, Eric Stab, CEO, Gdf Suez Energy Romania, Razvan Nicolescu, Former Delegate Minister for Energy designated its winner announced by Silvia Vlasceanu, Executive Director of the Association of Energy Utilities (ACUE): "The winner is a personality who attracted both criticism and praise during 2014, from all field operators, no matter the segment. He has been reproached for the unpredictability of the legislative framework, or that some operators have been favoured to the detriment of others. But everyone admitted, in spite of all this, that his firm position regarding the liberalization of oil and gas prices was a winning criteria and the same determination is expected to be seen in electricity and energy efficiency."
At the prize receiving ceremony, Niculae Havrilet, the president of ANRE said: "This might also be the prize for the most controversial personality. Obviously, ANRE as an institution and regulator comprises also the role of a referee and the controversial adjective is earned and assumed. We achieved several significant milestones, such as the liberalization of gas prices. The matter is fairly important for the business environment, as recent studies of the Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed that 58 per cent of business respondents to a survey asking which factors most impact the business development, replied "the unpredictable regulatory program for energy prices", and only seven per cent mentioned that the actual price is a main factor."

The Excellence Award, Entire Career - Celebrating commitment and great passion

This award was presented to Gheorghe Balan, Executive General Director of World Energy Council / RNC for his over-60 years of continuous career work in the energy sector, as honorary recognition for the long-time commitment of a prominent personality. The award was offered by Silvia Vlasceanu, Executive Director of the Association of Energy Utilities (ACUE) and was received by Elena Ratcu, Counsellor, WEC /Romanian Member Committee.

The Special Jury Award - Innovative project with practical results

This category awarded the innovation of a project developed within the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca in energy efficiency. According to Virgil Musatescu, Professor, Doctor Engineer, Technical University of Bucharest who handed the award, the project impressed the jury through its initiative and innovative features and its outstanding practical results. The project joined the efforts of students, teachers and all academic resources and led to a decreased energy consumption of the university by 60 per cent and of its energy bill by 70 per cent. Such initiative and pragmatic results are meant to set a leading role model for the other universities, according to Musatescu. The award was received by Andrei Ceclan, Research Engineer at the Cluj-based University: "We set this goal after I had attended training courses on energy efficiency. The project was put into practice by students and academic teachers of the university and was applied to the 38 buildings of the university campus, totalling over 130,000 sqm and a bill of almost two million Euro yearly. By applying such a concept in our own backyard, we realized this is a concept to be also shared with all interested universities. The project has been called "The Living Lab" and it proves that the academic research resources can be valid grounds for developing innovation projects also in partnership with companies by adding value to their business development.

The Special Jury Award for Energy Financing - A bank with deep roots

The first awarding session at the event was concluded by a special jury award to European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in order to acknowledge its long-time commitment to the local energy sector. Alexandru Valeriu Binig, Partner EY, said that EBRD, through its presence for more than 20 years in Romania-based energy projects, witnessed the very development of this sector locally. Among recent projects, EBRD participated in the Electrica listing, and financed renewable projects in Romania in previous years, totalling over 500 million Euro financing locally in the energy sector. Mihnea Craciun, Senior Banker at EBRD said that the institution developed along with the Romanian sector over the past 20 years and proved to be a true partner on the long-term.
It witnessed and got involved in the local economy changing and transitioning to a free business environment, market liberalization, bringing the local business into the spotlight and bringing attention to foreign investors, improving the corporative governance for Romanian companies and helping Romania in its goal to become a regional energy hub in Europe, as a natural step from being only a market dominated by multinational companies.


The second part of the Romanian Energy Awards, 2015 edition was opened by Niculae Havrilet, President of the National Regulatory Authority in Energy - ANRE, mentioning the competition environment that rules this strategic industry in Romania. Also, Lavinia Saniuta, General Manager of Veolia Energie Romania, the gold partner of the event added that the Jury and partners had three concepts in sight when developing the event structure, referring to the diplomacy aspects of doing business, the culture and educational approach, and the performance acknowledgment. "The simple fact that there are so many projects gives me the faith that there is a future for energy and the problems are here to be faced and solved as challenges," the manager added.

Oil and Gas Company of the Year - In search of expansion

Defined by multinational giants or companies with international and notable projects, this category included names such as MOL Romania, Romgaz, Stratum Energy and Grup Servicii Petroliere.
As mentioned by Niculae Havrilet, President of ANRE, the winner of this category is a company established in 2004, therefore young, but with significant international projects.
For instance, in 2014, it acquired three shipboards to assist the drilling platforms and has an investment plan of purchasing eight such ships, out of which four will be purchased in 2015, following an investment of 70 million Euro. It also plans to open a subsidiary in Turkey and it will invest 600 million Euro in a deep water platform. It has also plans to partner with Exxon and Chevron for projects in Western Africa and also announced even since 2013 expansion plans in Northern Russia for sea drilling projects.
Radu Petrescu, Chief Communications Officer with GSP, said that the company's evolution is mirrored in the last ten years, starting from local regional activities mainly focused in the Black Sea and planning expansion now on multiple continents, from the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, The Mediterranean Sea, Russia and Northern Africa.

Oil and Gas Project of the Year - A pipeline with protection objectives

This category enjoyed a line-up of several well-known projects, such as ANRM - Transgaz for the Iasi-Ungheni pipeline, along with projects of Stratum Energy and Serinus Energy. Elena Popescu, General Director of the Energy and Environment Direction, Ministry of Energy and SMEs, mentioned that the current priority of the sector is the energy security. "Within the new concept of energy union in Europe, Romania, as a state with borders to the Eastern European gates, has a priority in sustaining energy cooperation with neighbouring countries, with the goal of achieving energy security. That is why the Jury's choice for this award was natural and went to the pipeline linking Iasi and Ungheni." The project developed by ANRM and Transgaz has been awarded to Gheorghe Dutu, president of ANRM and Petru Vaduva, general manager of Transgaz. According to representatives, the pipeline project has been developed within a record time of nine months, with the logistic support offered by Transgaz.

Electricity Company of the Year - A company with an innovative approach

This category comprised well-known companies with significant history in the Romanian energy sector, such as CEZ, Bepco, Electrica, E.ON and Nuclearelectrica. Alexandru Valeriu Binig, Partner EY, hosting this category, mentioned that the Jury's mission in selecting the winner was the innovative factor of the developed projects, meant to send a message to the market. "The future belongs to local projects supported by international know-how and doubled by private initiative, based on resource generation. We have met at Brasov such an initiative with great local impact, of four gas engine-based power units, totalling 24 MW that have solved the natural gas supply issues in the city. Romania needs secondary and tertiary resource-generators," said Binig. The project at Brasov belongs to Bepco, a company that was represented at the gala by its general manager, Simina Costan.

Electricity Project of the Year - Markets brought together

The prize for this category was voted in unanimity, according to Elena Popescu, General Director of the Energy and Environment Direction, Ministry of Energy and SMEs. The candidates were Veolia, for its two MW steam turbine, the ANRE-OPCOM-Transelectrica's 4m market Coupling, and Bepco. The process of integration of European markets including Romania is one of the objectives comprised in the European Union for Energy. The project developed by ANRE, OPCOM and Transelectrica answers this objective, by coupling the markets in Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Victor Ionescu, the GM of OPCOM, said that the institution created the necessary bridge for Romania to become part of the European Energy Union.

Renewable Energy Company of the Year - The German approach

The competition in this category was tight, being represented by highly-reputed names in green energy, such as: CEZ Wind Farm, VESTAS, EDPR, STEAG and MONSSON. Transelectrica's director, Ciprian Diaconu said that this category awarded STEAG, the German company, in the spirit of the "German well-done job". According to the Jury member, the project developed by STEAG in Tulcea county is properly-financed and developed in a high potential area of Romania. The award was received by Mircea Rusu, administrator of STEAG Energie Romania. "The project developed by STEAG at Crucea Nord is the first developed by the company in Romania and also the company's largest wind park. STEAG is one of the largest electricity producers in Germany, with 11 power units and also international presence, with thermo-centrals in Turkey, Columbia and Philippines. The project in Romania represents a strategic positioning of the company."

Renewable Energy Project of the Year - Biomass in the spotlight

Continuing the awarding for the renewable sector, this category joined projects developed by the nominated companies: Vestas, EDPR, STEAG, Monsson, Land Power Dorobantu-Topolog and Sortilemn- Energy Serv.
Virgil Musatescu, Professor, Doctor Engineer, Technical University of Bucharest, in his presentation of the award, said: "It is difficult to find in this sector places at the winds' crossroads where a project stands out through its special features. For a change, this time, this category will award not a wind or solar project, but a biomass-based project. Why? Because, in the Jury's belief, biomass stands for a future development trend, a very interesting approach for Romanian potential. We have selected a project that has been developed based on biomass, has introduced a new technology and delivered major financial and energy performances." Hence, the award at this category went to Sortilemn- Energy Serv., represented within the Gala event by Catalin Dragostin, general manager of the company. "Our project, even though small, delivers a major message to the energy market regarding the future trends to be followed. Romania benefits of large resources in renewable energy, especially biomass, that are not used to their full potential. Such resources deliver not only energy performance but also financial benefits for consumers. It also paves the road that must be in Romania's strategy to align to European demands to include renewable energy in the supply mix to consumers."

Technology Provider of the Year - A name with history

Energy is generally defined by resources, human capital, molecules, atoms and technology. That is why a major category of the Gala Awards focuses on the technology, brought by the nominated companies Eximprod Grup, Electromagnetica GE-Lufkin, Retrasib and AEM. According to Ciprian Diaconu, director of Transelectrica, the resonance of the Electromagnetica name in the field stood for the reason of awarding the company with the title. Eugen Scheusan, general manager of Electromagnetica, mentioned that the company celebrates 85 years of activity, delivering technology solutions for large companies in the Romanian business environment, such as: Electrica, OMV Petrom, Dedeman, and the Tulcea Shipyard, among others.

Engineering Firm of the Year - A star in oil and gas engineering

Virgil Musatescu, Professor, Doctor Engineer, Technical University of Bucharest handed the category award to Petrostar, a company with oil and gas operations for 60 years in Romania. Established in 1949, it became private in 1994. In 2014, it marked a truly special year, with over 300 engineering contracts. The award was received by Daniel Rucareanu, general manager of Petrostar.

Energy Services Company of the Year - Accomplishment of 20-year performance

This category welcomed nominated companies such as: Adrem Invest, Energobit Esco, Prospectiuni, Vestas, Servelect and Elsaco. According to Valeriu Binig, Partner EY, hosting the ceremony award for this category, the winner is a company with 20 years' experience on the market and is active in consultancy, design, execution and exploitation. Several projects in 2014 included services delivered for the 48 MW cogeneration unit at Oradea worth 233 million RON, the unit developed at CET 2 Iasi worth 96 million RON, the 11 MW cogeneration unit at Bacau that is completed, the 35 million RON unit completed at Chimcomplex Borzesti, the modernization of the electricity transportation and distribution system at Focsani, among many others. Following the description, the award went to Elsaco, represented at the Gala event by Mihai Constantinescu, the company's counsellor . According to him, the award serves to acknowledge the company's background in Romania and the human resources represented by its 500 employees.

Energy Efficiency Program of the Year - Efficient partnership in business

This category was represented by nominees such as: Arcelormittal Galati, Stirom, OMV Petrom - "Light Up", Luxten - Modernization And Optimization Dorobanti Area, Bucharest, Schneider Electric Romania - Carrefour - Schneider Electric - Energy Efficiency Partnership. The award was presented by Ciprian Diaconu, director of Transelectrica, stating that energy efficiency is a key interest for the Romanian sector and the best energy resource stands right in the economy field. The award acknowledged a partnership in business, established by Schneider Electric Romania and Carrefour. Florentina Totth, general manager of Schneider Electric mentioned that it is a good sign that more and more companies are interested in reducing their energy consumption by applying energy efficiency solutions and expressed the company's commitment to achieve the objectives of their partners such as Carrefour. On the other hand, Florin Capatana, Corporate Affairs and CSR Director at Carrefour Romania said that such projects are part of the durable strategy developed by the French retailer to join with partners to deliver long-term efficient solutions for major resources such as power energy.

Energy Company of the Year - A major financial outcome

Last but not the least, the Romanian Energy Awards Gala was concluded with the Energy Company of the Year Award, as a grand summary of all achievements and key performance indicators in this field. The category was populated by names such as Bepco, Tinmar Ind., Romgaz and Transelectrica. Elena Popescu, General Director of the Energy and Environment Direction, Ministry of Energy and SMEs., announced the winner that has achieved a significant financial performance in the previous year, with a 15.38 per cent increase of turnover and a 44.09 per cent increase of profit. Romgaz, the winner of this category was represented by Vasile Carstea, branch manager Ploiesti at Romgaz. The fourth edition of 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, from conventional to renewable energy. Structured so that it mirrors all the accomplishments during the year, the event continues the series of Gala Awards developed by The Diplomat - Bucharest for the strategic industry fields in Romania, as a professional and useful platform for the decision-makers and key-leaders in the Romanian economy. The Diplomat - Bucharest team sends the warmest thanks to all that have contributed to the success of the event, assigning time, resources and good will and invites you to the next year's edition of the Romanian Energy Awards!

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