Romania: Import of electricity due to production interruptions in five units

, SEE Energy News

Monday, February 13, was the third day in this year in which Romania was a net importer of electricity, despite the fact that it has production capacities above the current consumption. The Ministry of Energy explains that the main motive is the price, and that import is in the interest of end-consumers in Romania because the import price is lower than the cost of domestic production. However, the data from the European network of transmission system operators show that in the last three days there have been unplanned outages in five units. Thus, the total production in Romania was reduced by about 1,000 MW.

The average consumption per hour on Monday was 8,800 MW, which means that these facilities presented about 10 percent of the total consumption. If they had been in operation, Romania would have exported electricity instead of having imported an average of 500 MW.

In addition, if it had been windy and if the wind farm had produced 500 to 600 MW, Romania would not have to import electricity beside the outages in these power plants. But the production of wind farms was weak, below 200 MW.

Although the four units stopped operation on February 11, it did not affect the import until February 13, because February 11 and 12 were weekend days, with a maximum consumption of 8,100 MW (Sunday evening) and an average consumption of 7,000 MW. However, on Monday, the consumption increased to 9,000 MW, which means that it was above the production level.

The first day when the production dropped below the level of consumption was February 1, from 23 hours, due to unplanned outage in the Braila thermal power plant, 413 MW capacity.

In addition, in the last two months the Romanian authorities have canceled several planned shutdowns (power plant Bucharest South, Rovinari 5, Turceni 6, Djerdap (Iron Gate) 4 and Djerdap (Iron Gate) 5), in order not to compromise the national energy system, especially having in mind extremely low temperatures.

There are currently 18 units with interrupted operation, eight of which are scheduled shutdowns. Among the most important are OMV Petrom Brazi, working at half capacity (430 MW of total installed capacity of 860 MW), TPP Braila and several groups of 300 MW within Turceni and Rovinari complex.