| BUDAPEST, June 19
BUDAPEST, June 19 Croatia aims to have a spot
power exchange operational this year and couple it with the
bourses of neighbouring Hungary and Slovenia, the head of
Croatian energy market operator HROTE said on Thursday.
The bourse will introduce more competition, develop reliable
prices and security of supply and help open up the electricity
market in Croatia, HROTE General Manager Ivor Zupanic told
Reuters on the sidelines of an energy trading event in Budapest.
HROTE and Croatian transmission system operator HOPS are
responsible for organising the exchange and its coupling with
other power bourses.
Zupanic said talks on potential partnerships are under way
with several power exchanges.
He said the European Union's newest member will become much
more self-sufficient in electricity generation once power
utility Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP) adds the 500 megawatt
coal-fired plant Plomin 3 on the northern Adriatic.
It now imports on average some 30 to 50 percent of its
annual electricity consumption depending on weather because
while almost half of its production capacity comes from hydro
Croatia also aims to meet or exceed EU renewable energy
targets before a 2020 deadline and add more than 850 MW of
capacity mostly in wind power within three years, he said
"The Croatian power system is one of the smallest in Europe
but thanks to its geographical position, very well built
infrastructure, number of shared borders with the EU countries
and those of the Western Balkans, it may become a regional
energy hub", Zupanic said.
Neighbouring Serbia teamed up with European exchange EPEX
Spot to launch a regional spot power bourse in the third quarter
of 2014. It is expected to become fully operational in the first
quarter of 2015.
While many traders see the region as potentially lucrative,
they cite barriers limiting market growth that include a lack of
transparency, difficulties in getting trading licences and the
need to win numerous auctions to move around power.
Ljubljana-based BSP Southpool, run by international
derivatives exchange Eurex and Slovenian power market operator
Borzen, offers power trading for the Slovenian and Serbian
markets but liquidity has been poor.
(Reporting by Maja Zuvela; editing by Jason Neely)