Due to the energy crisis, drought and the poor performance of the Ugljevik thermal power plant, power utility Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske will post a loss in its results for 2022. One of the consequences for the utility, which is among the few exporters of electricity in the region of the Western Balkans, will be an increase in electricity tariffs for businesses.
Petar Đokić, the Minister of Energy and Mining of the Republic of Srpska, said low levels of water at hydropower plants and the need to import electricity are the main reasons why Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS) would post a negative result for 2022.
Electricity prices for firms will be increased, while households will be encouraged to save energy, Đokić told Bloomberg Adria.
ERS has imported electricity for as much as EUR 500 per MWh
He said that this year ERS spent more than EUR 35 million on power imports, attributing the unfavorable situation mostly to malfunctions at thermal power plant Ugljevik. It suffered 24 outages so far this year.
Disruptions in the operation of TPP Ugljevik have forces ERS to purchase electricity abroad, and in some cases it had to pay EUR 500 per megawatt-hour (MWh). At the same time, it sold power to consumers at prices that are several dozen times lower, Đokić said.
In normal conditions, ERS can produce 35% more energy than what its domestic consumers need
According to Đokić, when water levels are regular and thermal power plants work smoothly, ERS can produce about 35% more electricity than what it needs to cover domestic consumption, but this year is different. He added that 2022 is the second dry year in a row.
Đokić acknowledged an increase in the price of electricity for businesses is inevitable and revealed that talks would be held with the representatives of the corporate sector on the details of the planned hike.
Đokić also said a consultant would be selected within a month for the restructuring of ERS.