Romania: Interested companies in gas conversion of TPP Mintia

, SEE Energy News

Two companies from Israel and South Korea, along with local GSP Power, have expressed interest in taking over coal-fired thermal power plant Mintia and converting it to a natural gas-fired power plant with a capacity of 800 MW, said Romanian Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu.

The Government was forced to shut down TPP Mintia, which was operated by Energy Complex Hunedoara, following the initiation of the European Commission preliminary infringement procedures due to the lack of environmental permits.

Minister Popescu also noted that there are interested investors for the conversion of coal-fired units operated by Energy Complex Oltenia to natural gas.

Regarding the coal phase-out, Minister confirmed the 2030 deadline for hard coal (units at EC Hunedoara), while the precise deadline will be announced for lignite (units at EC Oltenia) only after the European Commission reviews the company’s restructuring strategy.

According to a document sent to the European Commission, included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, Romania will phase-out coal from electricity generation by 2032. The only large producer of electricity from coal still in operation in the country, EC Oltenia, will leave in operation only two units at TPP Rovinari, with a total capacity of 660 MW. EC Oltenia’s restructuring plan envisages that coal-fired capacity will be reduced from 3,570 MW in early 2021 to just 660 MW in early 2027, or by 82 % in six years.