Đedović Handanović: Electricity And Gas Prices Drop for the Business Sector, We Have More Than Enough Oil and Oil Derivatives

As far as households are concerned, we don’t expect to see a surge in prices of electricity and gas until the end of this year. Minister Dubravka Đedović Handanović said for RTS that businesses can expect a drop in electricity and gas prices. Up until now 170.000 smart electricity metres have been installed, with the goal of installing 400.000 in the next few months—which is the first phase of the project, stated the minister. 

Today marks the end of the latest round of subsidy applications for local governments initiated with the goal of improving energy efficiency in households—for carpentry renovation, boiler replacement, insulation, and installation of solar panels.      

The end of the heating season marks the end of discounts on energy saving, but energy subsidies for the most disadvantaged will be continued. 

Nikola Tesla A Thermal Power Plant has launched a desulfurization project whereby they expect to reduce gas emissions by at least 10 times. This mechanisation has been in operation for three years already in Kostolac and currently another one is being built in the Nikola Tesla B Thermal Power Plant. 

Minister Dubravka Đedović Handanović said that last week we hit a big milestone benefiting both Belgrade and Obrenovac as well as the citizens living in that part of Belgrade, but also the entire country. She added that the new desulfurization mechanisation process now underway which cost 210 billion euros is one of the largest ecological projects in Europe done on the grounds of a thermal power plant, and the third largest in the world.   “This speaks volumes about this project’s importance, but it also about the importance of this thermal power plant for our city and Serbian energy production in general. We expect the reduction of sulphur-dioxide by 30 times, and the reduction of dust particles by three to five times. This means this project largely contributes to the reduction of air pollution in our city. The new thing is that we now have mechanisation that complies with all ecological standards and state laws, but also the laws of the European Union,” said the minister of energy. 

Thermal Power Plants Compliant With EU Standards  

We have such mechanization already in working order in Kostolac, while the one under construction in Nikola Tesla B is 70 percent complete.   “What I’m trying to say here is that by the end of next year 90 percent of our thermal plants will be aligned with European standards as well as our state regulations. This will cover almost 100 percent of our plants that specialize in electricity production. Citizens can have peace of mind knowing our thermal plants have reduced harmful gas emissions while proceeding with regular production”, she stressed out. 

Alongside the protection of the environment what interests the citizens most are energy prices. As far as households go, the costs of gas and electricity aren’t expected to rise until the end of the year, but the end of the heating season brought the end of discounts on electricity bills as well. 

Energy Subsidies 

“Citizens can have peace of mind knowing there will be no price increase both for electricity and gas, and the good news for businesses is that they can expect both electricity and gas prices to fall. Gas prices for business will go down for roughy 15 percent, while electricity bills will be lower for around 20 percent”, says Đedović Handanović. According to her statement, this will affect the prices of services as well as products like food and other items dependent on energy consumption. She underlines that the state was here to support businesses when energy prices surged over 600 euros per megawatt hour.   

Which Discounts Still Apply  

Đedović Handanović states that discounts given for rational energy-saving consumption which lasted during the heating season are no longer at work.  “It’s important to mention that a quarter of households achieved the maximum price reduction, i.e. a reduction of the electricity bill by as much as 40 percent. This has incurred costs for the Electrodistribution of Serbia reaching up to 80 million euros during this heating season, which is not a small amount, given that investment projects were much needed at the time, but by doing this we’ve helped our citizens settle their bills,” says the minister. “We continue to offer discounts for the most underprivileged and we appeal to all recipients of income support and child allowance as well as third-party care assistance to apply in their municipalities. Just one paper is enough to get a discount of up to 50 percent on your bills,” he adds.

Discount for the Most Vulnerable Pensioners

The most vulnerable citizens who receive minimum pensions can receive a discount of one thousand dinars. “We will continue offering help and support for the most vulnerable. And so far, as many as 166,000 households have exercised this right, compared to a year and a half ago, when there were not more than 75,000 benefit receivers. We will continue to increase the numbers of all those eligible to receive this help. Of course, the goal is to reduce the number of citizens needing such benefits”, said Đedović Handanović.

Not Enough Electrical and Gas Engineers 

Many citizens are waiting to be connected to gas, and even more of them to electricity, and as they say in Srbijagas and the Elecrodistribution, the biggest problem is that they don’t have enough electrical and gas engineer technicians to fit all the network. The minister states this is one part of the problem, another part of the problem is the infrastructure, especially when we talk about electricity connections made possible at illegal facilities, which was made possible by changing the law last year. “First of all, we will continue to invest in infrastructure in order to create conditions so that as many citizens as possible can connect. We actually started this last year. It is the largest ever investment cycle in the Electrodistribution of Serbia, which included approximately 180 million euros of investment, both for smart meters and for new substations, including those with low and high power. All the investments cited above will enable us to have as many connections as possible, including for consumers with illegal facilities who hitherto didn’t have the necessary conditions,” she said.

170,000 Smart Meters Installed

The minister said that 170,000 smart meters have been installed so far, while the goal is to have 400,000 in a few months time—which is the first phase. In the second phase, we will have the same number of meters installed, while continuing with an additional 360 million euros of investment in the Electrodistribution, which will be of vital importance as it will enable the greatest possible development, Đedović Hajdanović points out.

Definitely Enough Oil And Derivatives

As oil continues to circulate on the world market at roughly 90 dollars per barrel, we expect a greater influx of tourists as well as transit through our country, meaning that there will be an even larger consumption of energy. Also, there will be a price change at the gas stations tomorrow due to holidays. Speaking about fuel prices, Đedović Hajdanović notes that our citizens should be aware we are well supplied when it comes to oil reserves. “We don’t have much influence on the world oil prices, but as we are witnessing the Middle Eastern conflict not calming down, we can expect this to affect the market prices of oil, which we also greatly depend on. But what is very important is that at this moment we have enough reserves including mandated, commodity and commercial reserves, amounting to 87 days of average consumption,” she said.

She notes that in the event of any disruption in the world market, citizens can feel safe.

She adds that the overhaul of the refinery in NIS is coming to an end, and that according to the latest information, diesel production started yesterday at that facility. We’ve seen the increase of imports in the previous period and here we’re primarily speaking of imports by NIS aiming to compensate for the missing quantities, says the minister. “That said, we will definitely have enough oil and oil derivatives for the forthcoming holiday,” Đedović Handanović concluded.

Source: 29.04.24: https://www.rts.rs/vesti/ekonomija/5427993/energetika-dubravka-djedovic.html

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