Montenegro: Production of electricity in 2020 less than planned

, SEE Energy News

In the first nine months of 2020, a total of 1,929,751 MWh of electricity was produced in all production facilities operated by state-owned power utility EPCG – out of the planned 2,104,000 MWh. This is 86.97 % of the plan for the 2020.

The reasons for non-fulfillment of the production plan should be sought in the unfavorable hydrological situation in the first half of the year and the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. EPCG points out that 2020, atypical in many ways, was marked by a drop in electricity consumption, as well as a drop in electricity prices on the energy exchanges.

However, what is most important for consumers in Montenegro, according to the futures for next year, corrections in the price of electricity should not be expected. The suspension of traffic and the slowdown in production on a global level had the effect that the demand for oil was drastically reduced, which resulted in historically low oil prices. The market rule that low oil prices indirectly affect electricity prices indicates the possibility of a further decline in electricity prices. As COVID-19 first appeared in Italy, it caused a drop in forward and futures prices for electricity and gas on the Italian market. After that, the price on the HUPX exchange (reference stock exchange for the Balkans) began to fall, because the connection between the Italian market and the Balkans has been much stronger since 2020 due to the commissioning of the Montenegro-Italy submarine cable.

The production of hydropower plant Perucica in the nine months of 2019 was 83 % of the annual plan, while during 2020 the production was about 55.5 %. More precisely, out of the planned 626,000 MWh of electricity, 347,048 MWh were produced. Production at hydropower plant Piva during 2020 was at the level of 84 % of the annual plan – out of the planned 536,000 MWh, 449,176 MWh of electricity were produced.

On the other hand, coal-fired thermal power plant Pljevlja, although it was out of operation for two months due to the overhaul, in the first nine months of 2020 produced a total of 1,033,526 MWh out of the planned 942,000 MWh, which is 9.72 % more than planned. Also, wind farms in the observed period surpassed the annual plan by almost 11 GWh. Total electricity consumption in the first nine months of 2020 amounted to 1.627.536.187 kWh, which is by 8.9 % less than in the same period last year, and by 9.7 % less than planned for 2020. Residential consumption amounted to 919.783.866 kWh, which is by 6.6 % less than in the same period last year, and by 10 % less than planned for 2020. In the first three quarters of this year, EPCG imported 705 GWh of electricity at an average price of 37.42 euros/MWh. At the same time, 514 GWh of energy was exported at a price of 50.12 euros/MWh. For comparison, EPCG imported 975 GWh at an average price of 50.42 euros/MWh in the same period last year, and exported 552 GWh at an average price of 65.86 euros/MWh.