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Coal sector to hold important place in Romania's energy strategy (state secretary)

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The coal sector will hold an important place in Romania's energy strategy given that it currently ensures some 30% of electricity production, Karoly Borbely, State Secretary in the Energy Department, told a Thursday's conference on coal industry costs.

'The coal sector will hold an important place in Romania's energy strategy. Solutions must be found for the coal-based companies to function effectively. The mines that will be closed down receive subsidies agreed upon by the European Commission. It is a delicate topic, very difficult, but we will find solutions,' said Borbely.

According to him, the investments in this sector must continue, otherwise there will be social problems.

'We must have in view the fact that 30% of the energy mix consists of coal. We have to find investments also for those working in this sector, otherwise there will be social problems. We should not regard the energy strategy only economically, but also socially, as the Government has a very clear strategy of keeping jobs,' he added.

Borbely said that the country's energy strategy project would be released for public debate by late September.

'Lately we have been visited by very many companies and investors who want to participate in the energy strategy by investing in this sector. Romania must take advantage of this situation. The crisis in Ukraine is not affecting us negatively at all, we are a country almost totally energy independent. At the EU level, Romania is the third energy independent country, after Denmark and Estonia, which gives us an extremely privileged framework. We have 20,000 - 21,000 MW of installed capacity and we consume 7,000 MW, so that the biggest challenge is the interconnection with neighboring countries,' added the state secretary.

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