Montenegro delegation met with EnC Secretariat

, SEE Energy News

Director of the Energy Community (EnC) Secretariat Janez Kopac and his Deputy Dirk Buschle held a working meeting with Montenegrin State Secretary for Energy Marko Perunovic and representatives of power utility EPCG, namely President of the Board of Directors Milutin Djukanovic in Vienna.

The focus of the meeting was Montenegro’s progress in energy sector reform in line with the country’s obligations under the Energy Community Treaty. In addition to talks on solar and wind power plants, one of the topics of the meeting was two key hydropower projects Komarnica and Krusevo, whose total installed capacity is about 260MW. In order to implement these two projects, the Secretariat has shown great understanding and full support for their implementation in the framework of regional cooperation.

The Secretariat welcomes Montenegro’s strong commitment to the energy transition process and the adoption of the National Plan for Energy and Climate Change, as well as the initiative on the dynamics of phasing out coal-fired power plants. The Secretariat supports the focus of Montenegro on the process initiated by the Energy Community against Montenegro, related to the dynamics of the gradual shutdown of coal-fired thermal power plant Pljevlja, in accordance with the Directive on Large Combustion Plants. The Montenegrin delegation expressed readiness to implement the project of environmentally oriented reconstruction of TPP Pljevlja, which has already started, and as soon as possible, so that the plant could work in accordance with very clearly defined EU directives related to emissions.

The Secretariat agrees to continue to provide support to Montenegro, in particular with regard to the development of missing secondary legislation on renewable energy, the environmental impact of hydropower projects as well as the impact on the community and the environment at the local level.

On 20 April, the Energy Community Secretariat sent an Opening Letter to Montenegro to address its breach of the Large Combustion Plants Directive. In particular, the country’s sole thermal power plant Pljevlja, continues to operate despite the expiry of the limited lifetime derogation period of the plant. Montenegro has to respond until 20 June. Following a written declaration not to operate a plant for more than 20,000 hours after 1 January 2018, the limited lifetime derogation (also known as opt-out) was granted to selected installations by the Energy Community Ministerial Council. It is an implementation alternative to complying with the maximum emission limits set by the Large Combustion Plants Directive. Following the expiry of the 20,000 hours, the plants can only remain in operation if they meet the (stricter) standards of the Industrial Emissions Directive. This is not the case for TPP Pljevlja.