EPCG: WE WON'T ALLOW ANY MAN OR COMPANY TO MAKE EXTRA PROFIT TO THE DETRIMENT OF CITIZENS
As regards the increased interest the media showed on issues regarding the Contract on sale of electricity between EPCG and UNIPROM and driven with the wish to avoid perplexities or misinterpretations we find it necessary to inform the public on the following important facts:
1. According to the existing 2021 Contract, EPCG has been delivering the electricity to UNIPROM at the price of 45 EUR/MWh. Due to the electricity and aluminium market prices imbalance that occurred in the midst of this year, where the electricity price fetched the amount of 400 EUR/MWh and is presently at approximately 250 EUR/MWh, meaning it is five times higher than the one at which we have delivered electricity to UNIPROM. The average price at which EPCG has imported electricity in the previous eleven months of 2021 amounts 92 EUR/MWh. In that period our Company delivered 526.424 MWh electricity to UNIPROM and made 23.7 M€ revenue, and should we compare it to prices at HUPX exchange it comes out that the same volume of electricity would worth 53,4 M€. Regardless of the above stated EPCG fulfilled contract obligations for 2021, without exception, in terms of price and stable supply of contracted energy volumes.
2. The Contract on sale of electricity signed between EPCG and UNIPROM expires at the end of 2021. Pursuant to legal obligations and previous practice, when negotiating a contract renewal, EPCG management has sent an Invitation Letter to UNIPROM administration on several occasions. The last Invitation was sent on November 29, 2021 and we haven't received any answer so far.
3. Pursuant to the business policy and the Energy Law, and with regards to the surprising rise in market price, EPCG made a Draft Price Policy for the new contract to be negotiated at the meeting with UNIPROM representatives. Recognizing the importance of UNIPROM to Montenegrin economy and the interface it has with many other companies in the country, EPCG came out offering referent electricity market monthly prices reduced by 15% discount and additional 5% for regular settlement of liabilities and payment of invoices. Being conscious of enormously high market prices we suggested the invoices to be on a monthly level, having also expectations of electricity market stabilisation in the next period. Those days, electricity can be bought at HUPX at the price of 150 EUR/MWh meaning that the price we can offer to UNIPROM would equal 120 EUR/MWh. EPCG would thus try to secure itself from high variations at European and world electricity exchanges and reduce the business risk.
4. Just for comparison reasons, EPCG has a Contract on electricity supply with Railroads Montenegro and Steel Works Nikšić meaning we are held liable for both the electricity and system balancing. Situation with UNIPROM is quite different, we have signed a Trade Contract, meaning that in case we define a contract below the market price, UNIPROM could sell that energy to third parties at market prices and gain and extra profit. The fact that EPCG delivers the similar volumes of electricity to CEDIS and CGES companies for covering the losses in 2021 is also worth mentioning.
5. EPCG is running a business of public interest. It generates and supplies electricity to all households and economy in our country. Therefore EPCG must run a stable and secure business if it is to meet its core activity of electricity delivery to citizens and the state. That is our primary goal. This goal would be impossible to reach if the electricity was bought at, for example, the price of 150 EUR/MWh and thereafter sold to a business company at 45 EUR/MWh. Who would, in that case, be responsible for consequences caused by such a dramatic difference in price?
6. In such a delicate situation EPCG has had to choose either to increase the delivery price to UNIPROM or increase the price to citizens/households. We have decided to spare the households of this and to adjust the price to a market one for business entities that are making extra profit at the present conditions. UNIPROM is exactly such an entity.
7. As a corporate responsible company EPCG won't allow the citizens of Montenegro to suffer serious financial consequences by enabling any man or company to achieve extra profit. EPCG management wants to stop, once for all, that kind of business policy. In other words anyone's personal interest won't and can't make impact to our business decisions. Public interest, energy stability and satisfied citizens are on top of our priority list.
8. Difference in prices is, as we have already stated, 10-13 M€ per month – depending on exchange spikes – so the question of whether to direct the mentioned difference to new projects and finally to the budget of all citizens or to grant it to one man i.e. one company is a logical question. We are reiterating one more time that it is absolutely unacceptable to be driven by interest on one man/one Company and put electricity supply in jeopardy or make citizens to suffer the consequences thereof through either price increase or restrictions in electricity supply.
9. We are ready to make agreement and our offer is still valid. If someone does not want or rejects negotiations we can’t help them, but anyway we want to send a clear message: we won’t accept anyone’s blackmails or pressures.
10. Being highly conscious of importance that EPCG has to Montenegro as well of its obligation to run a corporately responsible business, we move on! We are investing in new employees and developing projects for the future. If we are to achieve our goal we must remain stable.