Montenegro’s power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG) has started the ecological reconstruction of the Pljevlja thermal power plant, which will reduce its emissions to bring them in line with EU standards, and extend its lifespan. TPP Pljevlja, with a capacity of 225 megawatts (MW), provides 40 percent of domestic electricity production.
The ecological reconstruction of TPP Pljevlja will cost a total of EUR 70 million or about EUR 15 million more than originally planned. It should last for about two and a half years or until October 2024, EPCG said after the official start of the reconstruction.
Rovčanin: Nitrogen, sulfur, and particulate matter emissions will be brought in line with EU directives
Nikola Rovčanin, executive director of EPCG, said that after the project TPP Pljevlja would be one of the most up-to-date power plants in the region as nitrogen, sulfur and particulate matter emissions would be in line with the European Union’s directives. He added the project would also enable the extension of the facility’s lifespan.
Of note, EPCG lauched the modernization project in 2018 in order to meet EU standards, primarily the ones from the Directive on Large Combustion Plants (LCPD). Meeting the standards is inevitable in order for the power plant to continue to operate, which was the agreement with the Energy Community Secretariat under the opt-out regime.
However, the deadline was not met, and the secretariat has initiated an infringement procedure against Montenegro.
During the envisaged 65-day standstill, power imports will cost EUR 35-37 million
Rovčanin said the energy transition cannot be implemented overnight and added it is therefore necessary to maintain and modernize existing power plants until the construction of replacement capacities is completed.
Speaking about the importance of TPP Pljevlja for Montenegro, he asserted that during its 65-day standstill due to the regular annual overhaul, the country will have to import power worth EUR 35-37 million.
In times of global crisis the company must secure energy independence
According to Rovčanin, the company is committed to green energy, but in times of global crisis it must secure energy independence and improve compliance with EU directives for existing power plants.
Ji Hongchun, project manager on behalf of the consortium DEC International-Bemax-BB Solar-Permonte, said EPCG’s readiness to implement this project demonstrates it is a very respectable company.
The initial contract with the consortium is worth EUR 54 million, but EPCG had to contract additional works worth EUR 15 million.