Reinforcing its position as a green development bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting greater network efficiency and the digital transformation of electricity distribution in Romania’s regions with new financing.
The Bank is extending a 40 million euros loan to Distributie Energie Electrica Romania (DEER), the electricity distribution subsidiary of Electrica Group. DEER serves more than 3.8 million users –residential and industrial – in the regions of Northern Muntenia, Northern Transylvania and Southern Transylvania. It operates 198,988 kilometres of electric lines in 18 counties, representing just over 40 per cent of Romanian territory.
“Our new financing will help Electrica Group build a resilient distribution network in Romania with enhanced efficiency and ready to integrate more renewable projects to achieve the country’s ambitious renewable targets,” said Mark Davis, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria.
DEER is implementing a comprehensive investment programme to upgrade its distribution network as well as improve the quality of its services and operational safety. Priorities in this upgrade also include digital transformation through systems such as SCADA, which is used to monitor and control industrial processes.
The investment programme supports the roll-out of smart meters and will enable more renewable capacity to be connected to the distribution network. It will significantly improve the network’s reliability, reduce grid losses and consistently contribute to increased renewable energy use to the detriment of conventional energy, saving about 67,100 tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year.
“In view of the business development opportunities and the ambitious investment plan, Electrica Group is exploring several options for diverse financing sources,” added Corina Popescu, CEO of Electrica. “The main objectives of the strategy defined for the distribution segment consider optimisations in three areas: operational performance, quality of services and optimisation of costs to the final consumer. Added to these are the long-term strategic directions, focused on the business model’s development, corroborated with the preparation of the distribution networks to face the challenges of the energy transition.”
As part of its cooperation with the EBRD, Electrica Group has committed to providing a more equal workplace and improving working conditions for women. The company will adopt a gender-based violence and harassment policy in line with international best practices and offer training to employees and contractors on how to implement this.