Serbia plans a power bourse in 2014
SARAJEVO May 15 (Reuters) - Serbia plans to set up a spot power exchange in the first quarter of 2014 with the aim of later joining it with other regional day-ahead markets, an official of its grid operator EMS said on Wednesday.
Milos Mladenovic, EMS's director for international and regulatory issues, said the SEEPEX exchange project would boost competition, increase liquidity and security of supply in the region, as well as develop reliable price indices.
Regional grid operators, power utilities and other European power bourses would be offered roles as strategic partners and shareholders in SEEPEX, he added.
In the initial phase, neighbouring Bosnia, Montenegro and Macedonia could join SEEPEX before eventually linking with the Hungarian, Romanian, Czech and Slovak markets, another EMS official said.
"However, it is difficult to say when the market coupling could kick off since this will be an issue for each national market to decide upon," Mladenovic told Reuters.
EMS had earlier said it was exploring how to set up the regional power exchange with Paris-based EPEX but Mladenovic declined to comment about the progress of talks to do so.
Under the current plan, SEEPEX will offer multiple prices for each of the neighbouring markets and participants will be able to trade hourly, baseload, peak, off-peak, as well as euro-peak and euro-off-peak contracts, Mladenovic said.
The Balkan region has become attractive for potential trading opportunities due to expected growth as it closes the gap with Western Europe and because of the number of shared borders with European Union nations.
But market participants say state control over prices, export fees and allocation of cross-border capacities are obstacles to the growth of electricity trading in the region.
Ljubljana-based BSP Southpool, run by international derivatives exchange Eurex and Slovenian power market operator Borzen, offers spot power trade for the Slovenian and Serbian markets but liquidity there has been poor. (Reporting By Maja Zuvela; Editing by Michael Kahn and William Hardy)