Romania: Imported coal to be reliance for EC Hunedoara

, SEE Energy News

Over the period of next two years, Romanian coal-based electricity producer Energy Complex (EC) Hunedoara will import some 0.2 million tons of coal.

The company’s coal production has decreased abruptly and is insufficient, although the power output halved as well over the past three years. The company’s own coal production decreased from 61,376 tons per month in 2016 to only 33,951 tons per month in 2019.

As the imports come by ships, mostly from the United States, EC Hunedoara launched an auction to buy transport services on the route from Constanta port to Mintia, where the plant is located, for an estimated price of 2.6 million euros.

The company is also facing financial problems and temporarily suspended operations over the weekend as Transgaz will cut the natural gas supplies over unpaid bills. On the upside, the Romanian Government recently decided to contract system services from EC Hunedoara of at least 400 MW band electricity, thus prolonging an existing contract by the end of the year.

The recently unveiled financial recovery plan for EC Hunedoara includes spinning off the functional assets, and splitting the company into two new entities. The first will include Mintia thermal units, which will become the property of the local administration in Hunedoara County. The second company will contain four coal mines and TPP Paroseni, which will operate under the authority of the Ministry of Economy and Energy and will be retrofitted to use natural gas instead of coal in the foreseeable future.