Serbia exclusive: Imports of electricity and missing quantities during the winter 2014/2015

, News Serbia Energy

Possible import of electricity depends on the production of coal and the state of the accumulation lakes, according to information from EPS. The TPP “Nikola Tesla” in Obrenovac due to the consequences of floods and decreased coal delivery from “Kolubara” will produce 30% less electricity than planned during the winter, announced the Director of this TPP, ČedomirPonoćko.

-TPP NT is ready for the winter, but there is not going to be enough coal, he said, explaining at the same time that about 40,000 – 45,000 tons of coal havebeen transported to TPP NT daily and that in one month it is expected this amount to reach 65,000 tons of coal, which is enough for the production of about 60% of that TPP.
During the winter It is usual to dispatch about 90,000 tons of coal daily from “Kolubara”. There will be no problems during the summer, but in this October and November, when the consumption of electricity increases, TPP NT is not going to be able to deliver the panned amount of electricity, he warned.

Because of the consequences of floods the revision of business plan of EPS will be performed, This Public Company that is insured by the “Wiener Insurance” expects that this insurance Company will compensate the damage to TPP NT, says Ponoćko.

The first estimations show that only in “Kolubara”, that is the part of the Public Company, the damage was, as estimated, about four to five million euros. If only one operational Unit of TPP NT is operating, the daily damage is about 200,000 euros, explains the director of the TPP in Obrenovac.

If we know that Serbia produces some 70% of total electricity from coal and 30% from hydro potentials, it is obvious that EPS will have to increase the import of electricity during the winter. During the winter the consumption of electricity is for some 50% higher than during the summer.

When asked whether lack of electricity during the winter threatens Serbia because of the floods that happened recently and the damage that the energy system suffered, EPS answered that the stabilization of electricity depends on the stabilization of coal production in the Mining Basin “Kolubara”. The level of coal production is going to dictate the level of missing electricitypurchase.

For the time being, it is too early to prognosticate, because estimations on how to pump out the water from the flooded Kolubara OPMs “VelikiCrljeni” and “Tamnava West Field” as fast as possible and as efficient as possible are ongoing, and that is one of the most important goals of EPS according to the information we got from this Public Company.

Also Mr. Slobodan Ružić, previous assistant to the Minister of Energy agrees with it, and says that catastrophic scenarios and announcements of electricity blackouts should be avoided.

-It is difficult at this point, without additional revision to even talk about how much electricity is going to be missing during the winter. Above all, the production will be reduced because of the reduced coal production, but this can be said when we see how fast the water will be pumped out from the coal mine and how fast the equipment will be rehabilitated. The quantity of electricity that is going to be missing depends on the state of the accumulations, i.e. the state of the lakes, he says.

Only when all this is known, one can say how much electricity in total will be missing. Everything before it was just a pure speculation. If somebody says how much electricity is going to be missing, that would be the certain signal for the increase in prices of thisenergy source on the market.

Ružić thinks that there will be no electricity blackouts, but in order to avoid the worst case scenario, EPS should, during the months to come define the import of electricity and to preserve it for the winter.

The electricity purchases now, when cheaper, because it is expected that during the winter it is going to be more expensive. This period EPS should use for filling the accumulations so that until the beginning of autumn and heating season, all capacities would be maximally filled. Here I think of “BajnaBašta” pump-storage HPP, he says.
Asked whether he really is for the revitalization of some Public Companies after the floods, 2 years are necessary for some of them, Ružić believes that the recovery will be over much earlier than planned.

-At this point, it isdifficultfor him to assume the rise of prices of electricity during the winter. He says that it depends on whether the supply problem exists only in Serbia orsurrounding countries suffersome damagein the meantime. If the second thing happens, that would additionally reflect to the price of electricity that is anyway more expensive, concludes Ružić.

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