ROMANIA NEEDS MONEY: $123 BLN
Romania's energy sector needs about 100 billion euros ($123 billion) worth of investment in power, oil and gas production, mining and related infrastructure by 2035 to be more self-sufficient, a draft energy ministry document showed.
Romania is one of the most energy-independent countries in Europe as a net exporter of power, although it must import oil and some of its gas.
The 2015-2035 draft strategy put up for debate by the energy ministry on Friday called for investment in gas pipelines and power lines and interconnections as well as energy production.
Government policy towards investors has been unpredictable and unstable, however. On the plus side, Romania has been gradually deregulating power and gas tariffs.
The draft cited examples of instability including sudden shifts in the support scheme for renewable energy projects and the introduction this year of an unexpected tax on facilities such as oil wells, dams and electric poles, which the government then said it would cut by a third in 2015.
Such instability can complicate long-term projects and deter private investors, the ministry said in the document.
Romania uses a mix of gas, coal, hydro, nuclear and renewable energy to generate electricity. But roughly 55 percent of all generation plants are 30 to 40 years old and need to be replaced gradually or the country risks losing its energy independence, the draft said.
The strategy paper said adding two more units to Romania's sole nuclear plant in Cernavoda on the river Danube, at a cost of roughly 6.5 billion euros, would be the best way to replace ageing power plants.
Other objectives included building a 1 billion euro hydropower plant, developing smart grid and metering infrastructure, expanding interconnections for power and gas, exploiting offshore Black Sea gas fields and retrofitting coal-fired plants.
The strategy is a first draft, with policy proposals expected next year.
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