EPCG’s strategic orientation is founded on the notion that harmonising with world trends represents the foundation of continued survival and development in the decades ahead. That’s why it invests in people, green energy, new technologies and capacities, the maintenance and optimal use of resources and digital transformation
EPCG has taken serious strides in the energy transition process and is developing several projects that the future of the company and Montenegro’s economic stability will depend on – reveals EPCG CEO Nikola Rovčanin for CorD Magazine, before announcing some of the projects being developed.
There’s been talk over recent months about “energy security”, “energy diversification”, “energy poverty”, “expensive electricity as a generator of inflation” etc. How do you view all of these issues?
– We’ve been facing a dramatic rise in electricity prices since the middle of last year, while the current geopolitical situation is causing unrest everywhere, and particularly in smaller economic systems that are highly dependent on flows emanating from the centre of events, making them unable to influence many factors. In parallel with this, very clear directives exist with regard to the obligation of each European country to direct its economy towards transitioning in the field of energy, which – viewed from an environmental perspective – is undoubtedly justified. However, implementing this process requires both time and assistance from the state, as well as favourable international political and economic conditions.
Could one say that investment is a key word for you at EPCG during this period?
– We are witnessing the fact that energy sector transformation is a global phenomenon, which left us with a very simple choice: either we expect things to sort themselves out, lulled into a false sense of security by the company’s importance to Montenegro, and thus risk the collapse of operations; or we engage available human and technical resources and create new ones to get to grips with contemporary challenges and preserve the company’s might and relevance.
With this in mind, it is definitely justified to assess investment as a key reference for EPCG at this juncture. The indicators to date are very encouraging. The positive age structure of employees enables us to look to the future with optimism, and our commitment to invest in renewable energy sources certainly requires additional training in the use of modern technologies. It is our wish to position the company as a key point of Montenegro’s development, to attract new people and repatriate some of the experts who previously left the country and built careers with serious international corporations.
Your priority is to establish a synergistic relationship between energy needs and environmental requirements. What are you currently doing on that front?
– We are currently preparing to start work on the project “Solari 3000+ & 500+”, for households and businesses. The projections were that 3,000 households would enter the programme, but we ended up with 15,000 applications, which is why we’re already considering launching the “Solari 5,000+” project and, in cooperation with the state, “Solari 10,000+”, which shows the high level of awareness among citizens regarding the importance of energy transition.
Our expert teams are working on the projects of WPP Gvozd, HPP Komarnica, SPP Slano, SPP Slano Dam and SPP Vrtac Dam, which should lead to us constructing new power plants after four decades of stagnation. The end result should see EPCG strengthened, not only as a company that has successfully completed the transition process, but also as a reference point for the entire Montenegrin economy.