Coal-fired thermal power plant Pljevlja in Montenegro was legally allowed to continue generating electricity past March 22 with the amendments to the Law on Industrial Emissions. The facility is operated by state-owned utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG).
Under the old Law on Industrial Emissions, TPP Pljevlja was allowed a maximum of 20,000 operational hours after January 1, 2018, but not after the end of 2023. However, it has exceeded the limit in late 2020.
Also, the old law did not allow the Agency for Nature and Environmental Protection to extend the validity of its integrated permit, which was supposed to expire on March 22.
Montenegro mirrored the move made by the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in March 2022. It legalized the continuation of the Tuzla 4 and Kakanj 5 units, owned by Elektroprivreda BIH (EPBiH). Together with Pljevlja, they are part of a group of ten coal-fired units in BiH, Montenegro and Serbia working under the opt-out mechanism.
Rovčanin: Now there are no legal obstacles for the Pljevlja plant to continue to generate electricity
The Energy Community Secretariat earlier launched an infringement procedure. After the Parliament of Montenegro adopted amendments to the Law on Industrial Emissions, the facility can continue to operate as the validity of the integrated license has been extended until the dispute is settled, Rovčanin told public broadcaster RTCG.
The ongoing reconstruction will bring the Pljevlja plant in compliance with EU directives
The works on the ecological reconstruction project are in progress. It will enable compliance with emissions limits set in the European Union’s directives.
Rovčanin added that the modernization is a way for Montenegro to show its willingness to make the power plant an environmentally sustainable facility.
Infringement procedure with the Energy Community Secretariat continuing
In April 2021, the Energy Community Secretariat initiated an infringement procedure against Montenegro for continuing to operate TPP Pljevlja despite the expiry of its sole thermal power plant’s opt-out period.
The mechanism is one of the implementation alternatives under the Large Combustion Plants Directive (LCPD). It enabled TPP Pljevlja to be exempted from complying with EU directives, but with limited time to be reconstructed.
The deadline has been extended until the end of negotiations with the European Commission or the end of the procedure with the secretariat
The amendments to the Law on Industrial Emissions extended the operation of TPP Pljevlja until the end of the negotiations of the Government of Montenegro with the European Commission and the secretariat or until the end of the ongoing procedure with the secretariat.
Recently, Energy Community Secretariat Director Artur Lorkowski said Montenegro is obligated to determine the shutdown date for TPP Pljevlja.
The power plant has a capacity of 225 MW. It accounts for almost 40% of total domestic electricity production.