At the beginning of the year, the spread of coronavirus caused a decline in electricity consumption in many countries around the world, however, based on consumption data measured in the initial phase of the pandemic (i.e. in the first quarter of 2020) provided by MAVIR, electricity consumption in Hungary increased significantly (of more than 2%) compared to the same period last year. Although the increase was followed by a sharp nine percent decrease in April, overall it was not able to influence the contractors of the energy market to a greater extent, as they typically fulfill orders with fixed development periods under multi-year contracts. Forest-Vill Kft. is one of the companies whose work has been able to remain continuous in recent months, so with our activities, we have been able to indirectly contribute to maintaining the security of supply.

Some professions and work processes are invisible until something breaks down. This is the case with energy construction and the provision of energy services and background work as well, since as long as there is a stable electricity supply in the country, few people think about the way electricity gets from the producer to end users. Nevertheless, the continuous, hard work of an entire industry is behind the stable energy supply, and although coronavirus has reduced energy consumption by as much as 15 percent in some countries, in Hungary, in the period between January and March, the opposite happened: a significant increase in consumption of more than 2% was measured by electricity suppliers compared to last year. Although the spread of the virus resulted in a 9% decrease in consumption in Hungary, compared to the consumption of some Western European countries, where a decrease of more than 10% was typically measured, it was rather slight. At the same time, compared to many other industries, the setback has influenced contractors of the domestic energy market less, since companies typically perform the work under a multi-year contract, which is not necessarily affected immediately by a plummet measured in consumption.

That said, the exceptional situation caused by the pandemic had its effects on the energy sector as well, as the disruptions of the supply chain threatened stable operation. In the case of our company, the slowdown was mainly visible in realizing new contracts, but we were able to work almost continuously even in the most vulnerable period. Work only stopped in areas where, for example, the introduction of remote work delayed the implementation of certain phases of projects. Moreover, our company has introduced several preventive measures to keep the smooth work up: such a step was pre-ordering tools and materials that would only be needed in the later phases of the projects, and setting up isolated working groups to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.

Some ongoing projects of our company include the construction of greenfield substations, and maintenance activities as well. Regarding the geographical distribution of the orders, we can say that in recent months, in addition to national coverage, we have carried out works in the work areas of all domestic electricity suppliers. Although a delay of a few months can be expected regarding the start and handover of some projects, in the second half of the year we can make up for the lag caused by the slowdown affecting the entire Hungarian economy, according to our plans.

László Papp, Managing Director of our company, explained that the activities carried out by Forest-Vill Kft. are often invisible to the general public, but we, among others, are indirectly responsible for ensuring the electricity supply of the country, including companies and households. According to the Managing Director, the spread of the coronavirus and the accompanying decrease in electricity consumption did not permanently shake the energy market. This is because we typically fulfill multi-year orders with a fixed development time, so a periodic crisis or a decrease in electricity consumption does not have an immediate negative impact on our activities. Although some orders will be postponed to the second half of the year, all in all, our company is optimistic, as we have every chance to catch up in the second half of the year, and can even expect growth.