Serbia, Energy minister advocates for external expert executives for EPS power utility

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The state’s goal is to be the owner of Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), and professional management is what we stand for and it has nothing to do with ownership, Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović said today.

She was a guest on Vojvodina Radio and Television, and pointed out that everything that is discussed about EPS should benefit the state, not private individuals.

“The privatization of EPS is not in the plan, and journalists are writing something they have not checked.” We talked with the Norwegians about the fact that Norway has majority ownership of the energy sector, which is state-owned, and 30 years ago they learned from the Americans. Now Norwegians are part of the professional management in those companies,” said Đedović.

She pointed out that it is not true that Norway cannot be compared with Serbia when it comes to energy, and that their consulting firm Rystad, which was chosen as a partner in the process of reforming the management of energy companies in Serbia, is the most reputable in the world.

“The team of professionals from Serbia will certainly be included in the main team, of course we have a lot of our people who are experts, but names and surnames are not important, but to exchange experiences.” When the state negotiates on sensitive matters, it classifies what will be secret and what will be public. There is nothing questionable or problematic about Norwegians. We have been working together for six months, and I expect the first results in March-April 2023,” the minister said.

She said that as a minister, she found a sector that she was familiar with, that she knew what had been done and what needed to be done, how that sector would be the driver of the economy and how the citizens would have security in the supply of electricity and that their houses would be warm.

“The rating of the energy sector is a strong three.” We have made some progress, but we should aim for a top five. There are many problems, we have stable production, we have imports during the winter, we are fixing the problems, we know what we need to do. It is not right because of the previous ministers, nor because of the government of Serbia, to criticize the work done in the past. This crisis helped us see the need for investment. There are many priorities, but in 2014 we first had floods, then in 2020 we had the covid pandemic,” Đedović pointed out.

She said that she does not know when the next increase in electricity and gas prices will occur, after the one that follows on January 1, and that the state is guided by making it sustainable, step by step, with an increase in salaries and pensions, but also by reforming the energy sector.

“Our inflation is 11 percent, electricity is going up by eight percent, gas a little more, and salaries and pensions are growing by 12 to 14 percent.” “Energy is the engine of development, without a stable supply even businessmen cannot do business,” said the minister, Danas reports.

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