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Gabriel Pantelimon, Xerox Romania
"The company's strategy is to increase sales on the hardware segment"»
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Future challenges for Romania's energy industry

With a National Strategy draft still to be approved, Romania faces many challenges regarding the energy market to find a way for major investments that are critically needed to enhance the development of the sector.

2017-06-20 15:49:08 - From the Print Edition

Although there are many things to do in terms of legislation, some of the local players believe that the energy sector can find the right path of development through predictability, flexible regulations and political agreement of all parties.

Romania has been blessed by being ′rich in poor resources′, Valeriu Binig, partner EY Romania, told The Diplomat-Bucharest. "Such resources have transposed into national wealth - even if not evenly distributed - and have created the feeling of self-sufficiency and lack of need for decisive action," he added.

In his opinion, the energy sector has suffered and continues to suffer from such an attitude at all levels. "Additionally, being a public-interest sector it also suffers, mainly in the legislative field, from the post-communist allergic reaction to ‘common property, common interest', leading to a disproportionate benefit of private property. On such a background, investment is scarce and only to the limit of the regulatory framework, or of the state aid schemes."

"There is no ‘pure market driven′ investment decision made in Romania, probably since the OMV Petrom investment decision on Petrobrazi CCGT; the market framework has been impacted by the attempt to eliminate ‘wiseguy contracts' and did not progress towards meeting the challenges of the EU level transformations," Binig added.

Talking about the main market challenges for this year, he mentioned mastering the consequences of the wholesale gas market liberalization, on the background of suspicions of oligopoly, setting up the National Energy Efficiency Fund, and transposing the obligations accepted through the Energy Efficiency Directive or building the governance of energy efficiency in Romania.

Valeriu Binig also said that Romania needs to prepare the Energy component of the EU Presidency mandate and to understand the ‘real consequences' of a potential adoption of the legislation comprised in the "Clean Energy for all Europeans" package, together with a predictive environment with investors friendliness.
According to the quoted source, the market segments with a successful evolution last year have been the regulated ones.

"Definitely the competitive ones, such as generation or supply, have seen dramatic challenges of over-capacity and fierce competition, in a market that has still to mature," said Binig. "Therefore, the profitability of distribution businesses has struck the regulators, who started a thorough scrutiny and will toughen the business conditions: detailed verification of acquisitions, obligation to acquire services, goods, works by public tendering procedures, banning the intra-group contracts, imposing a tougher performance standard for the distribution business, reducing the CAPEX and OPEX budgets, etc. Under such circumstances, it is to be expected that the grid operators will accelerate the Smart Transformation, at the pace also allowed by CAPEX budget restrictions imposed by the regulator for smart meters, IT systems, etc and will adopt improved Asset Management policies to make the most out of their asset base with an optimized labour force. The next natural step will be Work Management, to optimize the use of the remaining labour force."

Mol Romania to further develop its network of service stations



The Romanian energy market it is back on a good and positive trend following a few troubled years and the positive trend is expected to continue in 2017, Camelia Ene, country chairman and CEO Mol Romania, told The Diplomat-Bucharest.

"Mol Romania transitioned very well the recent years in terms of results and growth," Ene said. "Mol Romania has joined the top three players on the fuel retail market, from the point of view of retail sales volumes. Mol opened the first service station in Romania in 1995 and since then it made investments worth more than 200 million Euro and paid more than two billion Euro to the Romanian state as taxes and contributions."

Regarding the fuel market, Camelia Ene said they are still operating in a volatile business environment concerning the oil prices, but the company is committed to develop their presence in Romania, according to the market opportunities and the growth strategy.
"We believe in the potential of the Romanian market, where the number of cars per 1,000 people is still under the European average and the infrastructure has good opportunities for future development," she said. Furthermore, the Romanian fuel market continues to register rising demand, so we have a solid background on which we can rely for growth here. Given all this, we can clearly say that we will pursue our growth strategy in the years to come and, most importantly, we will closely monitor the trends and the customers' needs so that we can adjust our offer and serve our clients in the best way possible."

Last year, Mol Romania registered a ten per cent increase in the volume of gasoline sales and a 13.5 per cent increase in diesel fuel sales. "Our investment budget for 2016 exceeded 10 million Euro, an amount that was invested for the network's development and for further logistics development," said Camelia Ene. "Also, Mol's retail gasoline sales in Romania were stable in the first quarter of this year, while diesel sales increased by 13.5 per cent compared with the first three months of the previous year. We had a good performance on all the categories of the fuel market last year, both retail and wholesale. The results were brought by the good market environment, but above all by the strategies applied by the company."

Mol Group believes in the growth of non-fuel sales in the future and they have registered an increase of non-fuel sales' share in the overall results. "The company has realized the fact that with our region-wide service station portfolio, which numbers 2,000 stations in CEE and the 10,000,000 customer base the Group serves, we could be an important player not only in fuel but in other retail areas as well," said Ene. "This led us to the development of the Fresh Corner Concept at Mol service stations. Fresh Corner was introduced in 2015 as a pilot project in 5 stations in Romania and 23 in the region. Meanwhile, we have reached 57 Fresh Corners in Romania and we plan to extend to approximately 100 units in Romania by the end of 2017. On Group level, we expect to reach 750 Fresh Corners by 2021. Mol Group estimates that non-fuel sales will grow at a double-digit pace in the next years. On a more general note, regarding the future, we expect to see all fuel retailers trying to adjust their offers to the customers' demands. This is a normal business trend."

"The main contributing reasons to the company's positive results are related to an improved efficiency in operating our network of service stations, better services for our wholesale clients, and to the demand recovery," Camelia Ene stated. "We have extended our portfolio of products and services and we are confident that our approach in this respect will continue to pay off. Mol Romania is interested in further developing its network of service stations in Romania, a plan that also includes opening new units. We now operate a 207-service station network. For 2017 we have an investment budget of over 15 million Euro."

CEZ Romania: Romanian energy market will be more focused on energy efficiency in the future



The energy industry is passing along from an extremely rigid market where the consumer was captive, to a sector that undergoes profound changes, compared by people in the field to those in the telecom sector, where the lack of options has morphed into an avalanche of subscriptions, loyalty programs, or related services. Martin Zmelik, CEO CEZ Romania, told The Diplomat-Bucharest.

"Considering market evolution until now, this is the proper moment for testing new trends, not only for a clear monitoring of our customer's demands but also for thinking ahead and choosing projects that are a long-term answer to these demands that are to be materialized into personalized offers."
In his opinion, all players are looking for that one product or service that will make that big difference considering that the sale of electric energy is no longer such an exclusive domain. "Simply said, this is, most likely, the beginning of a re-shaped market with new standards and demands. I am sure this stage of the sector will bring a valuable experience to current and future players on the market on the long run."

Zmelik said that the regulations will be the key factor in providing the market's stability. "At the same time, realistic and enforceable implementation of the National Energy Strategy in primary and secondary legislation would provide more opportunities for the Romanian energy sector, while keeping a close eye on its vulnerabilities to maintain the energy security and independence. More specific issues, such as efficient production combined with distributed storage capacities, will lead to regional markets that have a more secure energy supply system at reasonable prices. However, investments in the electricity grids will continue to be necessary."

He added that, last year, CEZ continued its investment plan in the electricity grid to optimize and secure the lines of low voltage, to change the location of power meters at the property limit, to improve the quality parameters of the medium voltage network, and to extend the SCADA system by increasing remote-control stations.

"In 2016, we also continued the implementation of strategic projects (reducing electricity losses, legal compliance, transformation into a smart company, etc.), upgrading the electricity network to improve technical parameters and quality of distributed energy (reducing SAIDI/ SAIFI indices) along with staff investment and meeting the shareholder's expectations by delivering the business plan for the next five years," he continued. "This year, we will stick to our commitment of improving our services; we will continue the transformation of the distribution business into a digitized one and come with full service concerning the natural gas and electricity supply."

According to Zmelik, the Romanian energy market will be more focused on energy efficiency in the future and the clients are more and more interested in taking control over their energy consumption and making wise decisions about their energy needs, having all the necessary data at their disposal.
"The opening of the energy market is providing to all the participants challenges and opportunities as well," he said. "While changing the supplier may be attractive having in mind the energy invoice value decrease or choosing customized services or products based on their needs, clients must be properly informed to pay attention to contractual conditions and implications. We've seen at the beginning of this year how prices to end consumers may be linked to the fluctuations on the free market and how several smaller players did not withstand the shock."

One of the company's development strategies is to increase the number of electrical car charging stations and look for partnerships on complimentary services related to electricity.

"This year, we are going to invest 178 million RON (39.5 million Euro) in capital expenditure (CAPEX) and 171 million RON (38 million Euro) in commissioning (PIF) with the clear goal of decreasing our technology consumption by upgrading low-voltage distribution grids and securing supply lines and moving them at the property limits," said Zmelik. "As always, we aim to improve the quality parameters of the medium voltage network SAIFI / SAIDI, by extending the SCADA system with the installation of remotely ordered equipment from a central point and modernization of medium voltage power lines. At the same time, we prepare investment works to ensure conditions for connection to the grid for new customers under the new legislation. We are ready to invest about 95 million Euro in the coming years, in systems that, on one hand, allow the management of the additional requirements of consumers and on the other hand, will enable us to integrate our systems into other components of smart cities."

CEZ is in a process of reorganizing the distribution activities to provide higher quality services to customers and to reduce the duration and number of interruptions in power supply.
"We want a high degree of automation of power grids and to provide useful information to our clients so that they can take control over their energy consumption and make wise decisions about their energy needs, having all the necessary data," Zmelik concluded.

Nuclearelectrica: Beginning of 2017 shows promising results in terms of operational profit



Daniela Lulache, general manager of Nuclearelectrica, describes the Romanian energy industry in the last four years as the decline of major energy companies which has started in conjunction with the steep decline in the energy prices.

"Of course, the decline in energy prices is mainly based on the heavy subsidy support granted to the renewable sources," she told The Diplomat-Bucharest. "Romania was keen to apply the European policies and adhere to this change in the energy paradigm. However, as elsewhere in Europe or USA, the states were not prepared to deal with the upcoming effects of applying heavy subsidies for one source without counteracting the effects on other sources. In fact, I don't even think these effects were anticipated. If you look at the energy prices prior and post 2012, you will see the decrease. This decrease in prices reached its peak in 2016, when the lowest prices in the last eight years were recorded on the energy market. If for some sources of energy, the subsidies equated profit, for others mere survival was quite a challenge. Solid proof of this market context is the insolvency and near-insolvency situations of several producers. When the production cost is close or equal to the average market price, one cannot expect miracles. In addition, investments have become very difficult or even impossible. These producers need to go ahead with their current investment plans, otherwise they will end up having a wide array of operational challenges."

Based on the specific features, Lulache said, the coal-based capacities had the most difficult situation although coal capacities still have and will play a major role.
She explained: "Just look at drought or heavy winter situations. A nuclear producer has reasonable production costs, has little to no dependency on climate factors, however the decrease in prices, as sales represent the main source of revenues, is quite visible in terms of profit and sales, even if one has sustainable and market oriented strategies. All these producers raised their concerns on the market situation because there is a strong need of changes in regulation and legislation coupled with clear measures that would eventually guarantee a level-playing field. European specialists talk about this situation as a market failure, therefore the entire energy industry operated within a market failure. The consequences are obvious."

Lulache believes that 2017 will be nothing but a continuation of 2016 with slight differences, as she continued: "As mentioned, the last four years can be described as a sharp price decrease with a short and impactful situation in January this year when due to a series of European, regional and domestic factors the prices on the Day-Ahead Market (DAM or spot market) simply exploded, reaching hard to imagine levels. The factors can be partially explained in terms of weather, unavailability of certain capacities in Europe, stakeholders' statements that determine a certain behaviour of the market participants based on market expectations. Mainly, market behaviour during the January price peak can be described shortly in ethics vs. profit. Unfortunately, some of the market participants had to deal with the effects of this game. Prior to the January situation, most market participants activated on the spot market. The spot market had a market quota of almost 50 per cent at the end of 2016 which is abnormal as the spot market is a marginal market. This impacted the forward market both in terms of market participants reluctance to activate on this platform and in term of prices. Who would enter longer-term contracts at a stable price on the forward market when you can take advantage of the price fluctuations on the spot market?"

She hopes that the harsh lessons learned at the beginning of his year will precipitate a reorientation towards the forward market and once market participants re-activate on this market, the prices will go higher. "What I hope for is at least a partial recovery of the forward market. This reorientation could be only the effect of a failure on the spot market, but we still need new regulations. These are necessary regardless of moments like the one in January 2017."

In her opinion, for the authorities to encourage market growth and stability, they must first remove the obstacles which are blocking the flow of demand and offer. She explained: "Market primary and secondary regulations must be harmonized to the current development perspectives of the energy producers and with the interest of the consumers. So far, neither the producers nor the consumers have benefited from predicable, equitable and stable market regulations. The major cause of market imbalances is a massive subsidization scheme lacking a clear vision and strategy to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the Romanian energy producers, in an extremely competitive regional context (see new energy projects in neighbouring countries). The state authorities first need to establish a clear view of what the objectives are in the energy field, what steps must be taken to reach the objectives, what corrections must be applied and with what intended result."

Talking about the activity of the company, Lulache said that 2016 was a year of ‘operating performance excellence for the two nuclear reactors of Cernavoda NPP', as the power plant was subjected, at the end of 2015, to an extensive inspection focused on nuclear safety, integrated quality management systems, maintenance and operation procedures and activities, nuclear safety culture.

Even in difficult market conditions, Nuclearelectrica registered an operating profit of 112 million RON (24.8 million Euro). "This is significant because, during the first quarter of 2016, Nuclearelectrica's management undertook a significant investment project at Cernavoda NPP Unit 1 aimed at improving the efficiency of the thermal circuit with a direct impact on stabilizing production on the long term," said Lulache. "This investment project led to an extended outage period of 51 days compared to the regular outage of 30 days and to assumed negative financial result on the first semester of 2016 which was recovered by the end of the year. For a nuclear producer and a responsible management, it is more important to do the right investments at the right time."

According to the quoted source, the beginning of 2017 shows promising results in terms of operational profit, with Nuclearelectrica registering a net profit 25.7 per cent higher than the net profit of the similar period of 2016. "Also, by the end of 2017, substantial concrete data will be obtained from the technical analysis regarding the refurbishment of Cernavoda NPP Unit 1 which will lead to a clear objective and decision regarding this project estimated at 1.2-1.5 billion euro. A clear decision from the authorities on the aspects regarding Cernavoda NPP Units 3 and 4 which are in the approval competence of the Romanian state are expected by the end of the year as well."

Nuclearelectrica sells its production on the regulated market where SNN sells its production at tariffs established by ANRE and the competitive market administered by OPCOM. Based on the market liberalization calendar of ANRE, SNN reduced the quantity of energy sold on the regulated market from 20.8 per cent of its production in 2015 to 13.9 per cent in 2016, at a tariff established by ANRE. This reduction and the subsequent increase in the quantities sold on the competitive market, however, did not have a positive impact on the financial results, since the price on the competitive market dropped to a level similar to the regulated market.

"The decrease in energy prices is not a Romanian energy market tendency only, but a characteristic of the European markets as well," said Lulache. "So, it's safe to say that neither of the energy market segments was particularly successful for SNN. Considering this and the fact that SNN is a baseload energy producer, that cannot modulate its production to peaks to maximize its operational profit and cannot provide system services similar to hydropower plants, the company managed to sell above the market average prices though a flexible and adaptable energy sale strategy."

Furthermore, Nuclearelectrica's general manager stated that the current energy market, both at the local and European level, is capable of supporting neither large nor even small size investment projects when it should in fact provide the engine and mechanism for the development of the producers, while protecting the consumers and ensuring an affordable price.

Lulache explained: "Nuclearelectrica, as a participant in the market and not a price determinant, has stressed on numerous occasions the need for market correction, export opportunities for energy producers, utilization of the supply license, harmonization of the primary and secondary legislation, unification of the transport tariff. Maintaining the market status quo is no longer on option as we can see the result which the dysfunctions of the market have on the conventional power producers; their contribution to the sustainability of Romanian energy is very important. Romania has already exceeded its renewable energy output target established by the European Union and should now focus on ensuring the competitiveness of the other energy sources as well by facilitating investments and diversification of production-supply activities. As a direct opportunity, Nuclearelectrica is interested in utilizing its supply license, in capitalizing on the opportunity to export energy, in planning investments based on predictable market conditions, in long term energy supply contracts, all of which need a coherent and harmonized legislative framework."

Because of the decrease in the energy prices (2016 being the historical low of the previous eight years) and the decrease in the quantity of energy sold on the regulated market (from 50 per cent in 2013 to 14 per cent in 2016), SNN diversified its energy products and implemented a flexible and adaptable energy sale strategy which allowed the company to sell above the market average prices in 2016, according to its general manager. "Since, based on the market situation, traders are no longer interested in entering long-term contracts, your best shot is to plan and act smart. Such contracts, which were frequent for SNN before 2013, ensured the predictability of income and protection against market imbalances. This is no longer the case. For 2017, SNN plans to continue the implementation of "customized" energy products, tailored to the evolution of the market, advocating at the same time, for the correction of the market failure and the need for a more stable and long term aimed policy. SNN's short and long-term investment projects require a more stable energy market and a higher predictability and the only market segment that can provide these is the forward segment."

SNN's turnover in 2016 was 1.6 billion RON (366 million Euro) and the net profit was 112 million RON



The total value of SNN's investment program for 2017 is of 231 million RON (51.3 million Euro), approved by GMS resolution no. 1/29.03.2017 (excluding the reimbursement of investment credits). "As in previous years, the greatest weight in the investment program is that of the long-term investments (in progress)," said Lulache.
"This is due to the necessary modernization/refurbishment of certain systems, due to economic reasons (reductions of specific consumptions, improvement of certain process parameters, with positive impact upon the efficiency), legal/compliance reasons - the need of implementing certain improvements associated to nuclear safety, environment protection and labour security representing imperative requirements issued by the regulatory authorities in the field, as well as for complying with the development needs of the Romanian energetic sector."

Thus, the main investment projects of SNN for 2017, including ongoing and strategic investments are the intermediate spent fuel storage; improvement of the Cernavoda NPP response of the nuclear safety functions in case of events beyond design basis following the nuclear accident occurred at the Fukushima 1 nuclear plant, Japan; upgrade and extension of the physical protection system; extension of the period of life for Unit 1 by re-tubing the reactor and refurbishment of the main systems (pre-feasibility and feasibility studies); D2O detritiation installation (U1+U2);

The above-mentioned projects corroborated with the current maintenance, replacement and modernization costs necessary for ensuring nuclear safety and the high production results previously obtained, require both cash availability as well as the bankability of the company for the contraction of future credits and loans.

Schneider Electric marks 20 years in Romania



This year marks the twentieth anniversary for Schneider Electric in Romania, a company which relies on a long-term development strategy, according to Razvan Copoiu, South & East Europe Vice President Industry Business, Schneider Electric.

"We have been doing this for 20 years now, which demonstrates our long-term commitment to providing the best solutions for achieving low energy consumption," he said to The Diplomat-Bucharest. "An important year was 2007 when we opened our headquarters in Bucharest, and then the company expanded with local agencies in cities like Brasov, Cluj, Constanta, Craiova, Iasi and Timisoara. Another strategic decision was the creation of the Customer Support Centre for Europe, located in Bucharest. It brings together over 120 well-trained employees who offer commercial, logistic and call centre technical support for 25 countries in 17 languages."

One of the main directions of Schneider Electric is the energy-efficient solution that is based on the idea of connectivity. Copoiu explained: "These solutions are designed to provide customers with mobility, sustainability, efficiency, reliability and finally safety. Also, with the launch of our new ‘Life Is On' image campaign, the company reaffirmed its desire to significantly influence how people have access to energy. This is how we approach the new concept of Internet of Things, and we focus mainly on the advanced automation trend through a new and modern vision, globally agreed on as ‘Industry 4.0'.

He said there are many opportunities for the sector in which they operate, because more and more projects are being developed on the residential market as well as office buildings. "Those who want to buy a new home or employers looking for a proper work environment will consider the existence of energy-saving and environmentally friendly products," said Copoiu. "At the same time, the industry is also open to energy efficiency projects that support a less polluting environment, as well as automated systems that ease the whole process. Thus, we are pursuing several water infrastructure projects, supported by European funds, and we are focusing on the promotion of industrial automation, as well as SCADA-type measurement and control systems."

Copoiu believes that the Romanian market is still at the beginning of the road in accepting and using the solutions for energy efficiency and automation, and the most popular ones are those based on the lighting control system. "At the same time, we are developing projects with all the major utility companies in the country. Schneider Electric strengthens its presence on the Romanian market through competitive and innovative products that address key areas such as: Construction, Utilities, Metallurgy, Infrastructure and Residential. We promote the use of Building Management Systems (BMS) and the installation of speed gauges on all industrial engines, due to the main advantages: lower energy consumption and, implicitly, the cost of the electricity bill as well as increasing the life span of the equipment. The market is extremely receptive to this."

Worldwide, the Schneider Electric group recorded revenues last year of nearly 25 billion Euro, reporting a steady growth in its key segments. The Romanian subsidiary presents an organic growth rhythm, directly linked to the evolution of the market and the local economy, with the possibility of expanding its business in 2017, from the perspective of current projects.

General Electric: We are looking forward to Romania's energy strategy being brought to the next level, with a long-term view



The Romanian energy industry has been continuously developing in recent years, giving way to new energy needs and solutions and this trend is likely to increase even more in the coming years, as energy efficiency becomes more and more important for Romania, Cristian Colteanu, president & CEO GE for Romania, Bulgaria and the Republic of Moldova, told The Diplomat-Bucharest. "The local energy infrastructure calls for investments in new, state-of-the art equipment that meets requirements for security of supply, limitation of environmental impact and economic sustainability, which are topics of concern for us as well. Our activities in Romania will also have an impact on the integration of the European power markets."

In his opinion, the electricity grids will play a key role in the rapidly transforming energy scenario.
"New technologies need to be applied so that the grid responds to the new requests, incorporates an ever-growing share of renewables and provides flexibility to the system," Colteanu said. "As such, digital technologies are the most potent tool for generating value and efficiency in the energy system. New solutions can provide reliable electricity, foster decarbonisation and help consumers to participate in the energy market.

This process raises several challenges that we have taken into account in our Romanian team: maintaining the security of the electrical infrastructure and making the best use of energy data while guaranteeing privacy, designing ‘future-proof', interoperable solutions."

According to GE's Colteanu, the energy market is facing the challenge of having to navigate between three objectives - security of supply, limitation of environmental impact and economic sustainability. He explained: "In our region, CEE, it's a particularly tough challenge for two reasons: 52 per cent of total power in CEE comes from coal while 76 per cent of the plants in CEE are more than 30 years old. We plan to address these challenges by harnessing the full potential of the ‘Industrial Internet' and delivering performance improvement through big data analysis and plant optimization. For instance, it is estimated that the Industrial Internet could improve the efficiency of power plants by 1-2 per cent, therefore delivering 6MW more power from a 600MW plant. If replicated, this could be an important contribution towards ensuring the security of supply. Limiting the sector's environmental impact has a significant impact on CO2 emissions as every one per cent improvement in efficiency reduces CO2 emissions by two per cent. In terms of economic sustainability, the potential cost savings are impressive too. Power utilities worldwide could save roughly 60 billion USD in 15 years if the efficiency of every power plant increased by just one per cent. Therefore, we call it the "Power of 1%".

Colteanu believes that further growth in Central and Eastern Europe, including Romania, will entail more focus placed on innovation and R&D. "Governments play a major role in making this happen, by allocating budgets to R&D, creating a public and political framework that supports innovation, and endorsing efficient cooperation with the private sector," he said. "In the process of transitioning from efficiency-driven (manufacturing-focused) to innovation-driven economies, countries in Central and Eastern Europe will need to find the trigger that will bring them closer to Western Europe and the US. We believe digitalization is that trigger, with "the industrial internet" representing an opportunity for Europe to add 2.8 trillion Euro to the GDP of Europe by 2030."

According to GE's CEO, technological advancement and digitalization are also key to developing a sustainable energy sector. "We are looking forward to Romania's energy strategy being brought to the next level, with a long-term view, enabling the contribution to energy security and modernization of infrastructure, further integration with the European market, as well as interconnections with neighbouring countries," Colteanu stated.

In his opinion, Romania remains a key market for GE, with the focus on retrofit and maintenance. "For example, one of the GE innovations already implemented in Romania is the coal plant replaced with the modern GE gas turbine launched in Oradea in April 2016. This investment resulted in 96 per cent efficiency for the plant."

In 2016, GE Romania completed the integration of Alstom operations following the acquisition of its Power & Grid business in 2014, in the biggest industrial investment GE has ever made, one that is critical to the company's transformation
Another key development of 2016 was the global agreement between GE and Baker Hughes to combine the oil and gas business of both companies.

"Our activities in 2017 will focus on further developing the GE NMS (Network Management Solutions) centre in Bucharest - with a huge role in GE's digital future, as part of the tech hub that the company is developing in the region," Colteanu said. "Romanian engineers from the NMS centre are already providing technical support worldwide for projects such as integration, software development and testing. They contribute to the advancement of computer systems (smart grid technology) for major players in the energy markets of Europe, North and South America, Africa, and the Middle East, while also providing on-site services."



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