The largest electricity producers in Romania and Austria, Hidroelectrica and Verbund, have signed a memorandum of cooperation, Hidroelectrica said on its website.
In the memorandum, the parties express their intention to jointly develop projects and implement design, construction, and equipment solutions based on the most modern technologies in the energy sector, according to the press release.
Two companies will exchange information and know-how related to dispatching services, the staff-free operation of the power plants (through remote control centers), the optimization of the maintenance activity, and the application of innovative solutions and technologies for the implementation of EU directives for environmental protection, including the establishment of longitudinal connectivity of water streams.
According to Hidroelectrica’s press release, Verbund has a huge experience in power plant development and operation, as well as an exceptional know-how in the area of power generation from both hydropower and renewable energy sources.
Two very powerful companies have decided to join their know-how and to work together to identify and further implement some projects that are feasible for development, said Bogdan Badea, Chairman of Hidroelectrica’s Management Board.
In May, Bogdea said that Hidroelectrica is considering the acquisition of wind and solar plants in Romania, as well as energy companies abroad.
Fondul Proprietatea’s 20% stake in Hidroelectrica still up for grabs
The signing of the memorandum triggered reports by the Romanian media concerning Verbund’s interest in buying 20% of majority state-owned Hidroelectrica’s shares owned by US investment fund Fondul Proprietatea. The information is not new, as the US fund had offered its stake in Hidroelectrica in November 2017. Back then, Verbund was mentioned as one of the interested parties.
The media recently also reported that Energy Participation Management Company (SAPE), controlled by the Ministry of Energy, is also interested to acquire shares in energy companies. One of its targets could be Fondul Proprietatea’s take in Hidroelectrica, economica.net reported.
Hidroelectrica reported a record six-month gross profit of RON 962 million (around EUR 207 million) in the first half of 2018.
The company will have EUR 800 million at its disposal by 2020 to modernize the hydropower plants (HPPs) it currently operates.