Serbia, EPS imports electricity and coal

, News Serbia Energy

EPS is still paying for last year’s collapse of mines and thermal power plants in Obrenovac – it imports both electricity and coal. For this, the Ministry of Mining and Energy is also demanding the responsibility of former director Milorad Grcic and his associates in court. Analysis by the Fiscal Council shows that the loss is half a billion euros. He proposes radical cuts in order for Elektroprivreda to get out of the crisis.

Accidents in the Kolubara mines, low-quality coal with a large amount of mud, last winter also stopped the Obrenovac thermal power plants, which provide half of our country’s electricity.

Analysis by the Fiscal Council shows that insufficient investment in equipment, new mines and ecology drove EPS into losses and debt.

Pavle Petrović, president of the Fiscal Council, says that at the core of that crisis is the extremely irrational and incompetent management of the Electric Power Company of Serbia for many years, especially the last five.

“In order to solve the crisis, the reform of the EPS is crucial. That crisis in the EPS in the last heating season cost about 500 million euros. It is not in the budget for now, but the EPS has borrowed that money and it can reach the budget. If does nothing until the beginning of the next heating season, our calculation is that EPS would make another 500 million in additional loss”, notes Petrović.

Stocks need to be made, so we import part of the coal because due to the recovery of the mines, there is still not enough for the normal operation of TENT during the winter. Admittedly, less than winter, but we still import electricity.

“We import from 5 to 10 gigawatt-hours per day, if you multiply that by the price that is currently on the market, it is from one and a half million to two million euros every day. The Ministry has undertaken a series of short-term measures that should improve the situation by the end of this year, and that, we hope, it will mitigate to a good extent, if not at some points we can completely avoid the import of electricity. And by the end of next year, that we will manage to neutralize all the need for imports, at least in periods when we did not import electricity before, that is spring , the first part of summer and autumn”, says Zoran Ilić, Assistant Minister of Mining and Energy.

The price of a megawatt-hour on the stock exchange is too high – it reaches up to 400 euros.

“The most important thing is that we will be sure about the energy supply during the coming winter, the citizens should be calm. What will have to happen in the future, meaning already this year, is a change in the price of electricity”, said Zoran Ilić.

And while the state is still measuring how much the price increase will be, the Fiscal Council proposes radical cuts: a price increase already this year by at least 15 to 20 percent, but also to create a package that will protect the most vulnerable households.

“There are many reasons why the price must be market-based, and one of them is fiscal, because by switching to that policy, it would cost somewhere four to five times less than if they continued with this policy, where EPS would make losses and continue to collapse For the season after that, when EPS manages to make some reforms, that higher price would enable EPS to make bigger profits, it could invest, open mines, new plants, for green trasition and environmental protection and to become independent and was able to stand on his feet”, says Pavle Petrović.

According to the Fiscal Council, in order for EPS to stand on the green branch, the higher price of electricity must be accompanied by a comprehensive business reform – from the personnel policy, wages and work of service companies that are part of Elektroprivreda, RTS writes.