North Macedonia: Additional 20 million euros spent to increase production at TPP Bitola

, SEE Energy News

In order to increase the coal-based electricity production of thermal power plant Bitola, state-owned power utility ESM spent 20 million euros more than planned in 2019. According to 2019 financial report, this cost arose from the need to increase coal-based electricity production due to drought and unfavorable hydrological situation. Mostly thanks to that additional costs, the company’s profit was reduced from 29.8 million to only 3.2 million euros in 2019. This annual difference was spent on hiring external mechanization of private operators for coal mining and transportation. This, on the other hand, conditioned the company’s request for an increase in the price of electricity, which was sent to the Energy Regulatory Commission (RKE), and resulted in a 7.4 % increase in the price of electricity this year.

The largest increase in costs of 17.8 million euros is recorded by TPP Bitola due to the increase in production by 607 GWh, which is directly affected by the increase in the cost of excavation of coal and overburden in the amount of 10.8 million euros. Coal production increased by 2.11 % in 2019, to 4,879,650 tons of coal. Electricity production of ESM increased by 2.8 % in 2019 compared to 2018.