Serbia’s EPS earns over EUR 500 million in the first half of 2023

by Cristian Florescu

The state-owned energy company Elektroprivreda Srbije has recorded a commendable profit of RSD 61.8 billion (EUR 527.3 million) in the first half of 2023, primarily attributable to a significant rise in production and effective cost management.

The financial result of Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) for the January-June period shows a significant improvement, considering that the Serbian company experienced a loss of RSD 49.3 billion (EUR 420.6 million) in the first half of 2022. To provide a comparison, the utility had a deficit of RSD 73.7 billion (EUR 629 million) for the entire year.

The recovery commenced in the initial quarter of this year, yielding a net income of RSD 34.5 billion (EUR 294 million).

According to EPS, the result was influenced by various factors including an upsurge in electricity production due to favorable hydrological conditions, reduced expenses in procuring coal for thermal power plants, a fortunate boost from electricity exports, and a decline in costs.

Furthermore, the report on the implementation of EPS’s three-year business plan for the first half of the year highlights that effective planning played a significant role in the successful sales of surplus electricity.

The production at hydropower and coal power plants during this period was 17.8 TWh, which represents a 16% increase compared to the same period in 2022. The output of hydropower plants experienced a significant surge of 40%, while coal power plants saw a modest increase of 3%.

EPS’s expenditures in the current period were RSD 186 billion (EUR 1.6 billion), which is RSD 28 billion (EUR 239 million) lower compared to the same period of the previous year.

According to the report, there was a reduction in electricity purchase costs from RSD 71.7 billion (EUR 612 million) to RSD 19.6 billion (EUR 167.2 million).

In December 2021, a significant breakdown occurred in Serbia’s largest coal-fired thermal power plants. As a consequence, EPS incurred a loss of RSD 73.7 billion (EUR 629 million) in 2022. However, the situation has gradually improved, and the company recently announced its independence from electricity imports in January. Furthermore, EPS has also achieved record exports shortly thereafter.

After a series of outages and fires, Miroslav Tomašević took over from Milorad Grčić as the acting director of EPS in March 2022. With his guidance, the company made a significant recovery, but unfortunately, he was replaced two months ago.

EPS is currently undergoing a transformation. This process was officially initiated through the implementation of a new statute for EPS and the transition from being a public company to a joint stock company. Subsequently, the government has graciously appointed a seven-member supervisory board, which includes the expertise of three Norwegian professionals.

The panel quickly replaced Tomašević and selected Dušan Živković as the acting director.

The Minister of Mining and Energy, Dubravka Đedović, who is the sole member of EPS’s assembly, recently informed Balkan Green Energy News in an interview that the chief executive officer would be chosen through an international public invitation. This invitation was initiated just last week.

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