As in every year, the people of Temesvár/Timișoara, who are connected to Romania’s centralized system of heating, could end up without hot water and heating. According to the prefecture of Timiș County, “Colterm [the local heating company] has coal and gas supplies until Monday, but the providers are willing to deliver more only with the payment in advance.”
The City Hall of Timișoara has requested money from the government’s reserve funds to make an advance payment. Minister Marcel Vela has also asked the prefecture of Timiș to convoke the County Commission for Urgent Situations to find a solution “so that the people of Timișoara are not without heating and hot water starting on Tuesday.”
“The vice-mayor of Timișoara, Ruben Lațcău, confirmed that a part of the debt owed to the Oltenia Energetic Complex has been paid to continue the supply of coal and they will sign a contract with another two providers that would deliver coal to Colterm. At the same time, prefect Liliana Oneț has announced that she had a discussion with Minister of Economy Virgil Popescu to find a solution to support Colterm. The minister also spoke with with the representatives of the Oltenia Energetic Complex, who accepted continuing to supply Colterm but only on condition of a payment in advance,” the prefecture of Timiș announced.
The representative of the government in the field says that he asked City Hall to continue discussions with E.ON gas to find a way to continue supplying gas to Colterm as well.
This is not the first time that E.ON has threatened to cut the tap.
The director of the company Colterm, Emil Șerpe, says they are continuing negotiations with E.ON to sign a contract for one month. “There is a high chance that we sign a contract for one month, until January, to get through the holidays. Because of the current debt and the relationship with City Hall, they do not really trust us. We are looking for a way to guarantee service,” the director explained.
The management of Colterm wishes to guarantee continuation of service via the funds they will receive from City Hall, which would be enough to cover payment for one month. But the management of E.ON is not happy about this solution.
Colterm owes E.ON gas RON 80 million, out of which RON 50 million goes back as far as 2016, when City Hall could not offer up any resources.
According to the mayor, 50,000 people are still connected to the heating company, which also provides heating for almost all the institutions in the city, including COVID-19 hospitals.
The mayor of Temesvár/Timișoara, Dominic Fritz, says they are looking for solutions and that the new administration began discussions with the World Bank, those financing Colterm, ANAF (the Regional Directorate of Public Finance), and also with several financial specialists.
Featured photo: brickunderground.com