HEP Plin (HEP Gas) and Energia naturalis from Vukovar entered into HRK 76.5 million worth contracts on the purchase and sale of business shares in PPD-Gas Distribution and PPD-Household Supply. HEP Plin has thus become the owner of the 702 km long gas distribution network in Vukovar-Srijem County and has taken over the supply of 10,800 new customers.
These acquisitions have confirmed the position of HEP Plin as one of the leading gas distributors and suppliers. With these latest acquisitions, the company will supply a total of 93,000 customer, and operate 3,880 km of the gas distribution network located in four neighbouring counties of east Croatia: Osijek-Baranja, Požega-Slavonia, Virovitica-Podravina and Vukovar-Srijem.
'The acquisition of these two companies is a continuation of the HEP Group's strategy implementation focused on further development of gas operations and an active participation in the consolidation of the Croatian gas market. As one of the key entities on the Croatian gas market and based on our experience as well as the fifty-year long tradition of gas operations in this part of Croatia, we can guarantee the citizens and the companies in Vukovar-Srijem County the continuation of a secure and stable gas supply', said Frane Barbarić, the President of the Management Board of Hrvatska elektroprivreda d.d.
PPD – Gas Distribution operates 702 km of the distribution network in the town of Vukovar and 10 municipalities of Vukovar-Srijem County. PPD-Household Supply supplies more than 10,000 metering points (households and residential boiler rooms) on the territory of Vukovar-Srijem County, 60 percent of which is located in the town of Vukovar. In 2019 the network included 10,800 gas customers of which 10,240 were households. The average gas supply to customers during last four years was about 130 million kWh.
'The consolidation of local natural gas distributors is a necessity throughout Croatia in order to ensure a better market position, optimize the maintenance costs of distribution networks as well as the security of natural gas supply. PPD Group had been investing its knowledge and work in acquired companies for years to provide its users with the best possible service. This challenging acquisition process has lasted for several months. The receipt of non-binding offers by interested partners was followed first by in-depth company analyses and binding offers, and then by the tender which was awarded to HEP Plin d.o.o. Osijek as the company which submitted the best offer. Throughout the process, the social aspect of the acquisition was especially taken care of. We wish the new owners and all the employees to continue successful operations!', said Pavao Vujnovac, President of the Management Board of Energia naturalis Group.
Hrvatska elektroprivreda will, via HEP Plin, continue with the activities related to the acquisition of the gas network owned by local self-government units as well as to the acquisitions of other companies engaged in gas distribution and supply. In 2018, the Feričanci Municipality distribution network was acquired followed by the acquisition of Plin Vtc, a gas distribution and supply company from Virovitica in 2019. HEP Plin's long-term plans are focused on the construction of the gas network extension and the introduction of new technologies including remote readings and 'smart' gas meters, which shall ensure the basis for the future increase of customers, of the volume of distributed gas and the service quality improvement.