Ivan Bošnjak, Mayor of Zrenjanin, for My NIS

February 10, 2014

Towards the end of the year NIS received the City of Zrenjanin Award for 2013. How would you assess your recent cooperation with our company and what are the most significant results? I believe that the city and its local government have considerably improved their cooperation with Serbia’s largest investor recently. We have established direct communication between the Company’s facilities and the local government, primarily in our territory. We provided assistance in production during the emergency situation in 2012. After the meeting where our city and its educational institutions were presented, we made joint efforts to establish cooperation in the field of education. NIS has assisted the development of the entire City of Zrenjanin through the project Together to the Community through which over 12 million dinars were invested in various social activities in 2013. We are especially pleased that NIS has chosen to return some of its services to Zrenjanin after 30 years. The City of Zrenjanin, the original seat of NIS, is where the Services should be. How can the Energy of Knowledge and collaboration between NIS and the City’s educational institutions improve and raise the quality of educational system in Zrenjanin and the region? Improvement of the educational system in Zrenjanin and the entire Republic of Serbia is a strategic objective set by both the Government and the local government. Zrenjanin needs to be “a city of knowledge” and in this respect the Energy of Knowledge project has been quite helpful. Our educational institutions, namely the Secondary Technical School, the Technical College of Vocational Studies and Mihajlo Pupin Faculty of Technical Sciences are strategic partners of NIS. There is also non-institutional education; the secondary school and the Technical College have already run courses for NIS employees. It has been planned, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, to reinstitute Oil and Gas Refining and Production Classes at the Secondary Technical School as three-year and four-year educational programmes which will form qualified personnel for the employer. It needs to be stressed that last year the Technical College organised very successful competitions and courses in welding and similar activities. We are also proud of the cooperation between Mihajlo Pupin Faculty of Technical Sciences and NIS. It is additional mining and geology programme introduced at the universities in Serbia and the first such programme at the Novi Sad University, specifically at the Zrenjanin Faculty. We need to acknowledge the efforts of NIS for providing up-to-date classroom equipment for the secondary school and the Faculty. What is the role of NIS investments in new projects in economic development of the region and Zrenjanin and unemployment reduction? It is invaluable! We expect that the investments primarily in the Amine Plant will raise the quality of gas supplied throughout Srednji Banat, especially in the territory of Zrenjanin where there have been numerous complaints about the quality of supplied gas. I believe that the Elemir LPG Refinery investment project will stimulate economic development of this region and provide for a stable quality of natural gas throughout the year, and also create new jobs not only in the oil industry but also in the field of energy and beyond. In addition, we expect to expand the local road network through joint projects, which would mean savings to the oil company and a better communication with residential areas to the local government. This would indirectly improve economy of not only the major businesses but more importantly small-size manufacturers using these roads, constructed by the oil company, throughout the year. Cooperation between NIS and the City of Zrenjanin has become more substantial over the years and tens of joint projects have been implemented so far. Where do you see opportunities for improvement? The local government is willing to continue all forms of cooperation with such an important employer in the upcoming period. By developing educational institutions, we expect to provide maximum job opportunities in the Company for our citizens. We certainly wish that ambitious regional projects of NIS correspond with our ambitions. We hope that the most qualified personnel from Srednji Banat, educated here in Zrenjanin, will find employment in this large company not only in the Republic of Serbia but also the region and the Balkans and beyond. As regards the support to the local government, we expect NIS as a socially responsible company to put significant effort in environmental protection and energy efficiency by using alternative energy sources such as biogas plants, dissolved gas co-generators, which could generate heat along with electricity and the heat would be used for general purposes or development of agriculture, in particular greenhouses, hothouses etc. The fee for production of mineral deposits, the so-called royalty fee, has substantially helped the development of local communities, and such support will be highly beneficial to us in the upcoming period. Finally, it is highly important that NIS returns as many of its capacities, i.e. plants, into our city.