Power utility Elektroprivreda BiH will produce 10% less electricity in coal-fired power plants than what it projected in the Electricity Balance from a few months ago. The reduction, caused by low coal reserves, will also affect the company’s ability to sell electricity on the free market and export it, according to the Business Plan for the period 2023-2025, adopted by its shareholder assembly.
A shortfall of about 500 GWh in thermal power plant output means that sales on the market and exports could be halved, as EPBiH planned to sell just above 1,000 GWh in 2023. It generates 75% to 85% of its electricity from coal.
The company admitted that a decrease in the planned coal power plant generation would have a negative effect on the planned power surpluses, and also on the planned financial results.
The decrease in production at EPBiH’s facilities can mostly be attributed to the aging of thermal power plants. It would be the second annual drop in a row. The utility announced a decline in production for 2022 a year ago, to 6,000 GWh, but the fall was even higher. It produced 6,700 GWh in 2021 and 5,900 GWh is expected for this year, followed by 5,800 GWh in 2023.
The reason for a decrease in output from coal power plants is a weakening in the production of coal
The decrease in production in thermal power plants in 2022 was caused by a drop in coal stocks and deliveries, according to the Business Plan.
EPBiH said the Electricity Balance for the period 2023-2025 was prepared in the third quarter, when it was difficult to predict the achievement of the energy parameters for 2022. When the Business Plan was finalized a month ago, it was certain that the level of coal stocks at thermal power plants at the end of December would be much lower compared to the plan, it added.
The construction of solar power plants is delayed
The company didn’t identify the reasons for lower coal supplies from its coal mines. However, due to the energy crisis, coal has become a highly demanded commodity, and in the first seven months, according to official data, BiH exported 207,000 tons compared to 88,000 tons last year. A good part went to Serbia because of its problems with reduced coal production.
EPBiH also said new photovoltaic power plants would come online later than planned so that only the Rešetnica unit would start production by 2025.
All in all, production in 2023 and 2024 will be reduced by more than 215 GWh.