Romania: EC Oltenia will also invest in its coal-fired units

, SEE Energy News

EC Oltenia, which has a restructuring and decarbonization plan that provides for the conversion of part of the installed capacity from coal to gas, will not abandon some of its coal-fired units and plans to invest around 300 million euros in them, sad CEO of EC Oltenia Daniel Burlan.

Burlan stressed that EC Oltenia is now doing what the energy system should have done before, ie reducing the CO2 footprint in the energy mix. Currently, EC Oltenia is exclusively coal-based electricity producer and it intends to reduce emissions through the decarbonisation plan, from 0.82 tons of CO2 per MW per hour at present, to 0.74 tons in 2025 and at 0.51 tons of CO2 per MW per hour from 2026.

EC Oltenia intends to build eight photovoltaic parks with combined installed capacity of 735 MW and to convert some of its coal units to natural gas. This includes new 845 MW of gas-fired capacity in TPP Isalnita and 435 MW of gas-fired capacity in TPP Turceni. In addition to all this, the company will make efficiency investments in its remaining coal-fired units. The value of these investments should be around 300 million euros and the funds will be provided from the company’s own sources. EC Oltenia will become, at the end of 2025, a viable and profitable company with viable and sustainable investments, Burlan concluded.

He did not say which coal-fired units will remain, but it is very likely that unit 5 at TPP Rovinari will be among them. The unit was shut down in 2014 for rehabilitation and modernization, which will reduce pollutant emissions, but also increase the lifespan by 100,000 hours, but the project was never completed. Cost of the unit’s rehabilitation is about 140 million euros, most of the work is already done, and it was planned to be completed in 2020, but EC Oltenia did not have enough money to pay for CO2 emission allowances for the unit.