Hungary’s Paks pay $92.5 mln dividend
Hungary’s Paks Nuclear Power Plant, a unit of the state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works, will pay out its entire 2011 after-tax profit of HUF 20.8 billion ($92.5 million) as dividend, communications director István Mittler said after an annual general meeting on Thursday (04.12). The general meeting approved the company’s balance sheet showing total assets of HUF 199.8 billion at the end of 2011. Paks sold its electricity at an average price of HUF 11.66 (0.039 euro cent) per kWh in 2011, the lowest of any electricity generator in the country, Mittler said.
Wildhorse Energy to raise up to £5.6 mln for Hungary feasibility study
Australia’s Wildhorse Energy has said it will raise up to £5.56 million ($8.84 million) through the placement of new shares to start a feasibility study at an underground goal gasification in Hungary’s Mecsek Hills. MTI-Econews reported in February that Wildhorse Energy signed a cooperation agreement with Hungary’s state-owned Mecsek-Öko and Mecsekérc on the start of Uranium mining in the Mecsek Hills.
Pannónia Ethanol starts production of bioethanol plant
Pannónia Ethanol, a Hungarian unit of Ireland’s Ethanol Europe Renewables, has started production in its €120 million bioethanol plant in Dunaföldvár, central Hungary, the company said on Tuesday (04.10). The plant is expected to turn out an annual 240 million liters of bioethanol from 575,000 tons of domestic maize. The plant will also produce 175,000 tons of feed annually. The company said the plant is the biggest bioethanol plant in Hungary and one of the biggest in the region.
Hungary’s MOL proposes to pay a dividend the first time since 2008
The Board of Directors of Hungarian oil and gas company MOL Nyrt proposed paying HUF 45 billion ($199.7 million) dividend from last year’s profits, the company said Wednesday in a stock exchange filing. This represents more than 2% dividend yield, the company said. The AGM on April 26 will decide on paying the dividend. Net profit of the group reached HUF 154 billion last year after HUF 104 billion in 2010. Downstream operations realized an operating loss of HUF 500 million in 2011, without special items, while upstream increased its operating profit, excluding special items, by 16% to HUF 330 billion.
Ukrainian Parliament backs bill to ban sale of gas pipelines
Ukraine’s Parliament barred any sale of NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy after officials said Russia sought a stake in the state-run energy company’s natural-gas pipelines in exchange for cheaper supplies of the fuel. A bill to boost the efficiency of Naftogaz’s pipeline system while maintaining state ownership was backed by 242 lawmakers in the 450-seat legislature, Parliament said Friday (04.13) on its website. Any reorganization of Naftogaz’s pipelines or storage facilities will now require Cabinet approval. The former Soviet nation’s pipelines carry 80% of Russian gas shipments to Europe.
Region and the world
OPEC members may earn $1.2 trln on oil exports, DOE says
OPEC members may earn $1.17 trillion in net revenue from oil exports this year, up 14% from 2011, the Energy Department said in a report. OPEC’s revenue from exporting oil may reach $1.13 trillion in 2013, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries earned $1.03 trillion last year, a 33% increase from 2010, the agency said. “Saudi Arabia earned the largest share of these earnings, $312 billion, representing 30% of total OPEC revenues,” the agency said.
Bulgaria plans to expand only gas storage facility
According to the head of the state-owned company Bulgartransgaz, Kiril Temelkov, Bulgaria’s only natural gas storage facility in Chiren will be expanded to reach its maximum capacity, the Sofia News Agency reported on its website. Thus, the Chiren storage site will reach its maximum capacity of 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas, said Temelkov. Bulgartransgaz, a subsidiary of the state monopoly Bulgargaz, is the owner and manager of the Chiren gas facility. The expansion of the Chiren site, which should be completed by 2015, will cost the company about €200 million, Temelkov said.
OPEC crude shipments surge most since 2008
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will boost oil shipments this month by the most since at least 2008 as Asian refiners build stockpiles, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements. OPEC will export 24.32 million barrels a day in the four weeks to April 28, an increase of 5.2% on the 23.12 million a day that was scheduled for shipment in the period to March 31, the researcher said in a report Thursday (04.12). OPEC raised forecasts for supplies from outside the group Thursday, echoing an assessment by the International Energy Agency that oil markets are adequately supplied. Exports from the Middle East, including non-OPEC members Oman and Yemen, will rise 6.5% to 18.14 million barrels a day in the four-week period, according to the report.
Poland to amend renewables bill amid wind-farm investor concern
Coal-reliant Poland will reverse course and push through a law providing guaranteed purchase prices for power generated from wind turbines, an Economy Ministry official said on Wednesday (04.11). Poland in December presented an overhaul of its renewable support plan that sought to retract guaranteed purchase prices for renewables, a move that raised investor concern in the rapidly growing wind sector. “We are going to restore the obligation to buy energy from renewable sources at a guaranteed price, based on a formula set by the market regulator,” said Janusz Pilitowski, director of the ministry’s renewables department, quoted by Bloomberg. The government also plans to keep subsidies for current and planned wind farms unchanged for 15 years after commissioning, he said at a conference in Warsaw.
Bulgaria decided to build new nuclear unit at Kozloduy
Bulgaria’s government decided Wednesday (04.11) to start the process leading to construction of a 1,000 megawatt reactor at its Kozloduy nuclear plant on the Danube River after quitting the Belene nuclear project. The Balkan country will check whether it can install the reactor, already ordered from Russia’s Atomstroyexport, at the existing 2,000 MW Kozloduy plant in northwestern Bulgaria, after it abandoned plans to build a 2,000 MW station at Belene, a site that is prone to earthquakes. “The new unit will be designed and built on a commercial basis, without government guarantees and without spending the money of the taxpayers,” media reported citing Finance Minister Simeon Djankov as saying. The centre-right government of Prime Minister Boiko Borisov launched the lengthy process to get approvals for the site and build the reactor, which could become operational in 2021-2022.
Slovenia’s Petrol buys Serbian gas distributor
Slovenia’s largest fuel retailer Petrol has bought 85% of Serbian natural gas distributor Beogas Invest and will become the third-largest gas distributor in Serbia, Petrol said in a statement on Tuesday (04.10). The company did not disclose the value of the deal. Petrol, which operates 454 filling stations in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Montenegro, also deals in electricity and natural gas distribution.
Romania considers higher royalties, energy taxes, Mediafax says
The Romanian government is considering increasing oil and natural-gas royalties or surcharging energy companies, as the country moves to free electricity and gas prices, Mediafax reported Friday (04.06), citing unidentified government officials. The administration is considering an increase in oil and gas royalties earlier than a 2014 deadline or overtaxing energy and gas companies, which will post profits as the state deregulates prices, the Bucharest-based news service reported.
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