According to data published by the Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the country imported 42 million euros worth of electricity in the first quarter of 2017, which is 114.1 % more than in the same period last year. By comparison, a total of 59 million euros worth of electricity was imported in the entire 2016.
Cold winter, especially in January, resulted in increased domestic consumption and local power utilities increased electricity production but were also forced to import electricity at high prices in order to meet the increased demand. In January, gross electricity production increased by 13.1 % compared to the same month in 2016, while in February the increase was 6.2 %.
Due to poor hydrological conditions, electricity production in hydropower plants was disastrous in the first quarter of the year. Out of 2.905 GWh of gross electricity production in the first two months of 2016 in BiH, only 676 GWh was produced by HPPs, while the rest was produced by thermal power plant, at much higher cost.
HPP generation in January 2017 dropped by 15.2 % compared to the same month last year, while in February the decrease was even higher – 31.8 %. On the other hand, production at TPPs increased by 25.5 % in February 2017.
Despite the increase in production, electricity had to be imported. Only in January electricity imports reached 320 GWh, which is 14.7 % more than in January 2016. The situation improved in February, when imports amounted to 212 GWh or some 20 % less than in the same month last year.
These conditions had significant impact on the operation of three local power utilities in BiH, and according to unofficial information, one of these three – EPBiH, already reported a huge loss in the first quarter of 2017.