Romania: Lupeni coalmine on strike

, SEE Energy News

In Jiu Valley, dozens of miners from the Lupeni coalmine are refusing to come out of the mine as a protest to a 10-days delay of their salaries, which is the opposite to the agreement the unions previously made with state-owned electricity producer Energy Complex (EC) Hunedoara.

According to the agreement, the salaries of the miners from the Jiu Valley should have been paid on the 15th of the month, but EC Hunedoara management announced that they will be paid by 26 February. The company was left without half of the necessary funds for salaries, given that since 1 January it no longer benefits from the compensation for providing system services and state aid for Lonea coalmine.

Mining activities at the other coalmines in the Jiu Valley are carried out under normal conditions, but coal-fired thermal power plant Mintia, which runs on coal from the Jiu Valley, warned that the it could be stopped due to lack of coal, because there are no winter stocks. The plant was already briefly shut down on the night of 8 to 9 February because it has run out of coal.

EC Hunedoara operates coalmines in Valea Jiului (Lupeni, Lonea, Vulcan and Livezeni) and two coal-fired thermal power plants (Mintia and Paroseni), currently generates some 5 % of the total Romanian electricity production. In late 2019, the company entered insolvency proceedings.