OMV Petrom Said to Be Seeking Buyer for Wind Park in Romania

  • Petrom is trying to dispose of non-core assets, people say
  • 45-megawatt wind park initial investment was 90 million euros

OMV Petrom SA is preparing plans to sell its sole wind park in Romania as the country’s largest oil company sheds businesses not related to its core activities and crude prices fell, said two people familiar with the plan.

The sale of the wind park, completed in 2011 at a cost of 90 million euros ($103 million), is also part of Petrom’s broader plan to cut costs, according to the people who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public yet. OMV AG, the Austrian parent company of Petrom, declined to comment.

“At the beginning of 2015, the company announced a number of measures in response to the challenging oil-price environment, including portfolio optimization and potential divestments,” Petrom’s press office said by e-mail. “The initiatives are still in assessment phase.”

After the sharp decline in global oil prices, Petrom wants to trim investment costs 30 percent this year alone and sell cash-burning mature fields in the country to direct the bulk of spending to its deep-water Black Sea gas discovery.

Net income hit by lower oil prices
Net income hit by lower oil prices

“Finding a buyer will depend a lot on the price because the renewable energy market has been significantly hit by the changes in the support scheme and the price of green certificates,” Mihai Chisu, a Bucharest-based equity sales trader at Swiss Capital SA, said in an e-mail.

The Romanian government has discouraged major investors in the country’s renewable industry, including CEZ AS, with a swift change in its initially generous support plan for clean energy.

Green Pledges

With an installed capacity of about 2,600 megawatts of wind energy and almost 1,200 megawatts of solar power, Romania met its pledges to the EU to have at least 24 percent of green energy by 2020, five years earlier. This prompted the government to cut in half the number of so-called green certificates granted as incentives for green power production to one for wind.

“It’s good that Petrom is focusing more on its core business and by disposing of some of its non-core assets they are securing funds for more efficient investments in the future,” Chisu said.

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