Preserved stability on the Serbian market despite the challenges

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During the epidemic of the new coronavirus and despite the crisis in the oil market, NIS fulfilled both priority goals – preserving the health of employees and consumers and ensuring the stability of the market of oil derivatives, said Andrej Tucnin, first deputy general director of NIS and director of Downstream Division.
In an interview for the energy portal Balkan Magazine, Tucnin said that NIS is a large system with more than 11,000 employees, and that the organization of business in the new circumstances is a significant challenge for the company.
“Our business processes are very diverse, intensive and are performed throughout Serbia, as well as in the Balkan countries – from exploration, production and refining of oil to the sale of derivatives to consumers. These processes must not be interrupted. A responsible attitude towards the health of employees and consumers has enabled us to preserve stability on the market, because the energy security of the country is equally important to us,” said Tucnin.
According to him, the oil industry is now operating in an unprecedented situation on the world market.
“These are two types of strikes on oil companies: on the one hand, the price of oil has dropped drastically compared to the beginning of the year. As much as 30 percent was a drop in just one day in March, and at the same time we are facing a drop in demand and huge surpluses in the market. NIS is a part of the world market and, as expected, the crisis affected us as well. April and May were very difficult for business, and now the traffic is slowly recovering and we expect that to have a positive effect on our business as well,” said the first deputy general director of NIS.
Tucnin stated that in the conditions of the crisis, the main goal is to maintain the company’s liquidity, but that he will not give up capital projects, and that NIS invested as much as 80 million euros in the first quarter of this year.
“In this situation, when the negative trends continued in the second quarter, we must be agile and ready to adapt to the environment. We have developed short-term and long-term plans and different business scenarios. We have taken decisive measures and we are convinced that they will give results, although it is certain that the crisis will be reflected in our performance in the second quarter,” he said.
Tucnin stated that among the strategic priorities of NIS are further modernization of the Oil Refinery in Pancevo and development of the retail network in Serbia and the countries of the region.
According to him, Deep Processing, the capital project of the second phase of the modernization of the Pancevo refinery, should start during the year.
“When this plant starts, our refinery will be among the leading European refineries in terms of processing depth, 99.2 percent. This will give us larger quantities of the most valuable products, primarily diesel. We will also start domestic production of petroleum coke, which is now being imported into Serbia. The new plant will also bring us numerous environmental benefits – above all, the cessation of the production of fuel oil with a high sulfur content. With the completion of this project, the Pancevo Refinery will be ahead of many in Europe”, stated Tucnin.
He added that projects in the field of ecology, energy efficiency and digitalization are also a priority in the Refinery.
When it comes to NIS’s retail network, Tuchnin reminded that the company manages a network of over 400 gas stations in Serbia, BiH, Bulgaria and Romania.
“Last year, we reconstructed five stations in Serbia, of which three stations are of very important importance on the highway, and two stations in the new “A” format of our company. This year, in July, we will complete the highway gas station at the exit from Novi Sad and reconstruct five more gas stations. At the beginning of the year, we opened a new station in Koceljeva, and then two more stations were opened in Podunavci and Leskovac. By the end of the year, we plan to complete a total of six reconstruction projects in Serbia. These are modern digital facilities that establish new standards in this area and provide our consumers with an improved user experience,” said Tucnin, Kurir reports.