Energy Crisis

Romania’s CE Oltenia delays closure of two coal plant units

Romania CE Oltenia delays closure of two coal plant units

Photo: Sidoremi from Pixabay

Published

November 8, 2022

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Published:

November 8, 2022

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Two units with a total capacity of 660 MW in coal-fired power plants Turceni and Rovinari won’t be closed by the end of the year like it was planned, Chief Executive Officer of CE Oltenia announced.

Romania got its National Recovery and Resilience Plan approved in Brussels with bold ambitions for the country’s energy transformation and coal bailout. It also struggled to get a green light from the European Commission for its massive state aid package for ailing coal and power producer Complexul Energetic Oltenia.

Using an option provided in July by the government in Bucharest, the firm now claims it can’t go ahead with the planned closure of two units in coal-fired thermal power plants.

Romania is already struggling to meet deadlines and adopt the legislation necessary for access to European funds

Countries throughout Europe have been getting idle coal plants back online and postponing closures to maintain the security of power supply amid the energy crisis. When Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is not a European Union member state, prolonged the operation of two units, the Energy Community Secretariat opened an infringement case against the government.

Romania, already struggling to meet deadlines and adopt the legislation necessary for access to funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP or PNRR) and other EU sources, is trying to get the EU to renegotiate the terms.

The two units, with 660 MW in combined capacity, are now scheduled for a switch to reserve

Namely, even though CE Oltenia is supposed to shut down unit 3 in the Rovinari plant and unit 7 in Turceni, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Burlan said they would only be switched to reserve, Economica.net reported.

The two units have 660 MW in capacity. There are nine coal plants in the utility’s fleet, with 2.6 GW in total. It stockpiled 900,000 tons of the fuel compared to the obligatory 735,000 tons. Burlan is convinced the volume would be maintained at a high level after the winter due to a boost in coal mining.

In 2023, there should be five coal plants in regular operation and another two on standby, the CEO pointed out. The closure of Rovinari 3 depended on a modernization project for unit 3, but it suffered delays, he noted.

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