Macedonia, Government has decided to temporarily restart the oil-fired thermal power plant Negotino

, SEE Energy News

Due to an energy crisis the country is facing, the Government of North Macedonia has decided to temporarily restart the oil-fired thermal power plant Negotino, which has been out of operation for twelve years.

Therefore, power utility ESM will launch a public call for the procurement of fuel oil for the plant’s operation, which should last during the winter season, namely until April 2022. The produced electricity will be used to cover the demand of residential consumers, while eventual surplus will be sold to local commercial consumers on the free market.

In early November, the Government has declared the state of emergency in the country’s energy sector, which allowed the allocation of 65 million euros for state-owned energy companies. 9 million euros were spent by ESM for emergency electricity purchases, while 30 million euros will be used by electricity transmission system operator MEPSO to cover the costs of drawing electricity from the European network. However, due to low generation, ESM continued to buy electricity at extremely high prices (above 250 euros/MWh).

Last year, the Government said that it is planning to convert the 210 MW TPP Negotino from fuel oil to natural gas. TPP Negotino is state-operated and currently provides cold reserve service, although it has not been used lately due to extremely high cost of operation. For years, there have been speculations whether the plant should be decommissioned or converted to use new type of fuel, but the Government said that it will launch a tender procedure for the plant’s conversion to natural gas within six months.