Projects of common interest: Transelectrica to benefit from non-reimbursable funds
The National Power Grid Company Transelectrica plans total investments of RON 1.395bn (over EUR 300mln) during 2017 – 2019. Most funds are allocated to finance projects for the retrofitting of the existing power grid, to integrate production from new power plants, to upgrade the IT and telecommunications infrastructure. Also, according to the Power Transmission Grid (PTG) Development Plan for 2016 – 2025, approved by the National Regulatory Authority for Energy, Transelectrica has scheduled investments of RON 5bn.
Transelectrica last year commissioned five investment projects, worth a total of RON 97.98mln. The projects aimed at the retrofitting and upgrade of the transformer stations in Campia Turzii, Bradu, Cluj Est, Pestis and Vetis.
European funds for major projects
CNTEE Transelectrica SA carries out six projects of common interest (PCI) worth over RON 1bn, part of the ‘Black Sea Corridor’ and ‘Mid Continental East Corridor’ clusters. All these projects were selected to benefit from non-reimbursable funds, being included on the list of priorities approved in November last year by the European Commission.
- The ‘Black Sea Corridor’ cluster is part of the priority corridor on electricity: North-south electricity interconnections in Central and South-Eastern Europe (‘NSI East Electricity’), and aims to consolidate the electricity transmission corridor along the Black Sea coast (Romania – Bulgaria) and between the coast and the rest of Europe and Turkey.
- The ‘Mid Continental East Corridor’ cluster is part of the priority corridor on electricity: North-south electricity interconnections in Central Europe and South-Eastern Europe (‘NSI East Electricity’) and leads to an increased capacity of exchange on the borders between Romania – Hungary – Serbia; boosts the European North-South Corridor from North-Eastern Europe through Romania, allowing a stronger integration of markets and increased security of supply in the south-eastern part of Europe.
According to company representatives, the projects are adopted by the European Commission and included in the European Plan for the European plan for the development of the electricity transmission network coordinated at ENTSO-E level. These projects were also included on the third list of Projects of Common Interest approved by the European Commission in November last year. All these projects contribute to the realization of the 400kV national power ring, objective included in the government program, which leads to an increase in the operational safety of the National Power System and the achievement of an economic regime for PTG functioning. Projects of common interest are integrated in the joint effort of all Transmission and System Operators in Europe to develop the trans-European networks and ensure their interoperability, Transelectrica CEO Corina Popescu stated in a press release.
“Transelectrica’s investments accepted by the European Commission, both at the 2015 call and at the 2017 call, aim primarily at increasing the interconnection capacity on Romania – Bulgaria and Romania – Serbia relations. Being included on the second list, as well as on the third list of projects of common interest, Transelectrica’s investments have proven economic, social and environmental viability, aiming to improve security of supply and to ensure the flexibility of the European energy system”, Corina Popescu also mentioned. The investment objectives on the list of projects of common interest of the European Commission may benefit from funding at a rate of 50% or even 80%. Also, projects of common interest may be subject to a quicker permitting procedure, not exceeding three years on average, and benefit from special treatment by regulatory authorities.
Projects included on EC’s list
The reviewed list adopted in November last year by the European Commission includes the following projects of Transelectrica:
- 400kV overhead line (OHL) Cernavoda – Stalpu, part of the Cluster Bulgaria — Romania capacity increase (‘Black Sea Corridor’);
- 400kV overhead line (OHL) Gutinas – Smardan, part of the Cluster Bulgaria — Romania capacity increase (‘Black Sea Corridor’);
- Interconnection between Resita (RO) and Pancevo (RS) – part of the Cluster Romania – Serbia between Resita and Pancevo (‘Mid Continental East Corridor’);
- Internal line between Portile de Fier and Resita (RO) – part of the Cluster Romania – Serbia between Resita and Pancevo (‘Mid Continental East Corridor’);
- Internal line between Resita and Timisoara/Sacalaz (RO) – part of the Cluster Romania – Serbia between Resita and Pancevo (‘Mid Continental East Corridor’);
- Internal line between Arad and Timisoara/Sacalaz (RO) – part of the Cluster Romania – Serbia between Resita and Pancevo (‘Mid Continental East Corridor’).
‘Stelian Gal’ Center of Excellence
Transelectrica started in mid-November last year the construction works at the ‘Stelian Gal’ Centre of Energy Excellence, in Sibiu (near the 400kV Sibiu Sud Station), in the memory of the former CEO of the company.
The investment, of approximately RON 5mln, is made from own funds, the project being included in the investment plan of the company. The Centre of Energy Excellence will be the first of this type in Romania, in which practical training in terms of work under voltage will be carried out. The Research and Development Centre for Work under Voltage Technologies and Quick Intervention in the National Power System will be built in a first stage, including a training and testing field for work under voltage. The term for completing this stage is 24 months, and works will be executed by SMART SA. In the second stage, laboratories and classrooms will be set up, the term being 18 months.
Also, in November 2017, the company inaugurated the 220/110/20kV Campia Turzii Station (Cluj County), refurbished with an investment of around RON 42mln, from own funds. Works were started in 2014 and consisted of the full refurbishment of the station, including primary and secondary equipment, the SCADA system, tele control of the National and Territorial Power Dispatcher, the installation of a 220/110kV autotransformer and the installation of the second transformer of 110/20 kV. “I am honoured to attend the inauguration of a project aimed at increasing the degree of safety in the electricity supply to consumers. The Campia Turzii station is a major power transit hub between the areas of Cluj, Alba and Mures, its role being very important for the safety of electricity supply to the northern part of Transylvania. The refurbishment of this station ensures the operating conditions required by the current international standards, while keeping the operating expenses at a reasonable level, equipment worn out physically and morally being replaced. It is important to mention that in our country electricity production is concentrated in the southern part, while consumption is equally high in the south and the north. Therefore, one of the major priorities of Transelectrica is to close the 400kV ring, project necessary for the operating safety of the National Power System and which will also minimize losses in the power transmission grid. For the following two years, Transelectrica has an ambitious investment plan, totalling around RON 1.4bn, and one of our major concerns is refurbishing and upgrading the electrical sub-stations,” Corina Popescu, CEO of Transelectrica, stated.
The 110/20kV Campia Turzii station was commissioned in 1954 to supply ISCT, the town of Campia Turzii and the Turda and Campia Turzii areas. The 220kV station was commissioned in 1978, being an important connection station for Cluj, Alba and Mures areas. The electric ovens of ISCT used to be supplied from the 220kV station, having no transformer unit between the 220kV and 110kV voltages.
The refurbishment process started in 2014 and works were executed by the association of companies Energobit, Siemens, retrofitting and ELM Cluj. The design was awarded, by public tender, to Romproiect Electro, having as sub-designers: MPS Electric Design and KadCons, the documentation being completed in 2011.
1,000 km of new overhead lines
At the end of last year, Transelectrica was in the process of obtaining the necessary approvals and permits to start projects aiming at the construction of new overhead lines totalling 1,000 kilometres, according to a presentation made by Adrian Suta, head of the Department for Relations with Regulatory Authorities, during a meeting with investors.
These projects include:
– Overhead line Portile de Fier – Anina – Resita – Timisoara – Sacalaz – Arad, which will be built in two stages;
– OHL Gadalin – Suceava, of 260 kilometres;
– OHL Smardan – Gutinas, of 140 kilometres;
– OHL Cernavoda – Stalpu – 160 kilometres;
– OHL Ostrovu Mare – PTG, of 32 kilometres;
– OHL Suceava – Balti (Republic of Moldova) – 90 kilometres, objective depending on the signing of a memorandum with the Republic of Moldova, as well as connections OHL Isaccea – Varna and OHL Isaccea Dobrudja in the Medgidia Sud station, of 27 kilometres.
Transelectrica manages 81 electrical sub-stations, with a capacity of around 35,000 MVA and over 9,000 kilometres of overhead lines of 110/220kV, 400kV and 750kV.