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Alro considers a temporary interruption of some operations due to eco-taxes

Alro Slatina, one of the leading aluminum producers in the Central and Eastern Europe, announces that will issue a plan for temporarily closing an important part of its key-production capacities of primary aluminum which will result in a drastic reduction of power consumption, according to a company release. These measures are determined by the higher mandatory quota of green certificates (GCs) set recently by ANRE – Romania’s Energy Regulatory Authority, which will have a negative impact on the company in terms of expenditures, and it could lead to a significant decrease in the number of its employees.

As Govnet has already informed, ANRE has issued a decree establishing for 2013 an obligatory quota of green certificates to be purchased by electricity suppliers of 0.224 GCs for each MW produced, nearly double compared to 2012 when it was 0.1188 GCs/MW. The decree signed by ANRE’s president, Niculae Havrilet, was published in Romania’s Official Gazette a week ago on February 27. This quota which is paid by all power consumers, supporting the production of green energy, is considered a burden by all major industrial electricity consumers.

"The new quota of green certificates, 17 percent higher than the former estimation, will have a negative impact on this year’s financial results” states the said informing Alro sent to the Bucharest Stock Exchange where its shares are listed (symbol ALR).

As the renewable energy sector has seen in 2013 a boost in terms of installed capacity which almost doubled compared to 2012, eco-taxes have significantly increased, so “Alro will have to additionally pay 20 million lei for eco-taxes - regularization expenses only, while the impact on the 2014 budget is anticipated to exceed by at least 80 million lei the current estimations of the company”, according to the same press release.

Last week, Constatin Nita, the new Minister of Economy, formerly, Minister Delegate for Energy, said during a conference that the support-scheme for the major industrial power consumers has been finalized and has been sent to the Competition Council. According to Nita, it supposes a diminution by 85 percent of the costs related to green certificates, as well as a reduction by 20 percent of the cogeneration tax.

"The large consumers, in their turn, will have to fulfill some conditions in order to benefit from this scheme. I  trust that this way we will be able to lower the energy price for large industrial companies, so as their employees keep their jobs and their products enter the market”, he said, quoted by Agerpres.

The production of renewable energy in Romania is subsidized through green certificates. Transelectrica, the domestic system and transmission operator, issues these green certificates granted for free to green energy producers who in their turn, sell them to electricity suppliers who are compelled to acquire a quota of GCs as established by ANRE, the related costs being included in the electricity bills.

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