Romania opens energy sector

An emergency decree on electric and thermal power has paved the way for the liberalization of Romania`s energy sector. Reforms in the decree include the creation of competition in the sector and the creation of independent energy producers.

The decree precedes the restructuring of the national energy company, Conel, and will speed up the country`s long-delayed market reforms. Under reforms, foreign and local investors would be allowed to operate as energy suppliers to help stimulate competition in the market. Transmission and distribution will remain a natural monopoly.

The energy market rules are aimed at bringing Romania`s energy sector rules in line with those in the European Union. The government wishes to create an open energy market by mid-2001, overseen by a regulatory body similar to that in the UK.