Serbia: Power utility EPS production dropped by 9.8 % in the first two months of 2017

, News Serbia Energy

According to the officials of Serbian state-owned power utility EPS, the company imported 848 million kWh of electricity in the first quarter of 2017, worth about 42 million euros. The majority of the amount, namely 541 million kWh worth about 29 million euros, was imported in January. On the other hand, utility’s electricity generation dropped by 9.8 % in the first two months of the year.

The average purchase price of electricity in the first quarter of the year was 49.64 euros/MWh, whereas the average price on Hungarian power exchange HUPX amounted to 58.25 euros/MWh for that period. The purchase price of electricity in January was a bit higher than the first quarter average – 53.9 euros/MWh.

EPS officials claim that the reason for slightly lower production of electricity in the beginning of 2017 is the long-lasting cold wave in January, which made it difficult to deliver coal from Kolubara coalmines to a complex of thermal power plants Nikola Tesla A and B. In the first two months of 2017, nearly 7 million tons of coal was produced at Kolubara coalmines, which is in line with the annual production plan.

The preliminary financial results for 2016, before the property evaluation, show that EPS recorded a profit in the amount of some 140 million euros, a result of implemented measures of financial consolidation. According to EPS officials, increase efficiency and better organization contributed to the savings made in 2016. Most of the earnings, namely some 64.5 million euros, came from the difference between the import and export price of electricity. In 2016, EPS has paid 706.5 million euros to the state budget, which is 34 % more than in the previous year and represents about 8.5 % of total budget revenues of Serbia. At the same time, EPS increased collection, which amounted to 95.2 % in 2016, while decreasing distribution losses to 12.4 %.

President of the Supervisory Board of EPS Branko Kovacevic stressed that the company will not have sufficient amounts of electricity to meet domestic demand until the construction of a new 350 MW unit in TPP Kostolac is completed. He added that some 4,800 employees will leave the company in the next three years, as a part of its restructuring.