ANRE’s Regulatory Committee unanimously approved on January 19th, 2024, the sanctioning of contravention fines from the turnover of four economic operators in the electricity sector, for their non-compliance with the specific legal provisions regarding transactions on the wholesale electricity market. This measure comes as a result of some investigative actions carried out by ANRE, upon notification to OPCOM made through the ACER Notification Platform.
ANRE has fined four companies a total of RON 537,503,319.49 (i.e. approximately EUR 107.98 million) for market manipulation on the Romanian centralised wholesale electricity market.
REMIT Regulation (EU) No 1227/201 prohibits market manipulation and insider trading in Europe’s wholesale energy markets.
Finding a breach of Article 5 of the REMIT Regulation, ANRE fined:
- Tinmar Energy S.A. a sum of RON 363,982,051.85 (approx. EUR 73.12 million)
- Nova Power&Gas S.R.L. a sum of RON 100,106,676.12 (approx. EUR 20.11 million)
- EFT Furnizare S.R.L. a sum of RON 50,497,126.22 (approx. EUR 10.14 million); and
- Freepoint Commodities Europe LLP a sum of RON 22,917,465.30 (approx. EUR 4.6 million).
According to the decisions, the four market participants sent false and misleading signals on the demand, supply, and price on the OPCOM Centralized Market with double continuous negotiation for Electricity Bilateral Contracts (CM-OTC) by carrying out several ‘A to B to A’ wash trades related to the same electricity product, for the same volume, at different price levels, between January and February 2021.
Wash trades can send false and misleading signals and may seriously hamper the integrity and the transparency of the energy markets as they constitute orders and transactions which are not representative of the real market situation (liquidity, price, price volatility).
The National Regulatory Authority in the field of Energy – ANRE, is an autonomous administrative authority, with legal personality, under parliamentary control, fully financed from its own revenues, decision-making, organizational and functional independent, having as its object of activity the development, approval and monitoring of the application of the set of regulations mandatory at the national level necessary for the operation of the sector and the electricity, heat and natural gas market in terms of efficiency, competition, transparency and consumer protection.
In order to ensure the exercise of its competences in the territory, ANRE has in its structure territorial offices without legal personality.
The entire ANRE staff acts independently of any interest of the participants in the electricity or natural gas market, does not request or accept direct instructions from any public or private entity in fulfilling their regulatory duties, does not carry out activities with gainful character in the electricity, thermal and natural gas sector, except for those with a didactic nature of professional training, do not hold shares or shares and cannot be members of the management bodies of commercial companies with an object of activity in the energy sector electrical, thermal and natural gas or in any other fields that are within ANRE’s competence, under the law.
It is prohibited for any public entity to intervene in the performance of ANRE’s duties or in the adoption of decisions in the regulatory activity.