BiH slipped from regional electricity exporter to largest importer

, SEE Energy News

High temperatures and severe drought in the Balkans have led to a decline in electricity production from hydropower plants and electricity shortages, thus many countries in the region are forced to import electricity.

Under normal circumstances, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was the only regional exporter of electricity, but in the first six months of 2017 BiH doubled its electricity imports, which stood at 77.7 million euros. In addition, due to electricity shortages, BiH was also forced to import coal in the same period and spent over 150 million euros for this purpose in the first half of the year.

Bosnian power utilities also recorded poor financial results. EPBiH achieved a net loss in the amount of 11.7 million euros in the first half of 2017, which is significantly worse than in the same period last year when the company achieved profit of 1.9 million euros. EP HZHB managed to stay in profit (some 230,000 euros in the first half of 2017), but it was 80 % lower compared to the same period last year. Subsidiaries of ERS that operate hydropower plants have also recorded losses in the first six months of the year.

Other countries in the region have also suffered from lower hydro production, which led to an increase in prices of some 30 %. Many Balkan countries are extremely dependent on hydro production, namely Albania with almost 100 % of electricity production coming from HPPs, while hydro production at BiH and Croatia cover 50 % and 40 % of their demands, respectively.