Romania’s Oltenia picks partners to switch from coal to solar, gas

Restrukturiranje Oltenie, preko 1GW iz obnovljivih

Photo: Didgeman / Pixabay


February 7, 2022



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February 7, 2022



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Romanian state-owned company CE Oltenia has begun negotiations on partnerships to build eight solar power plants and one gas power plant. OMV Petrom and Tinmar Energy were the best bidders, and negotiations are ongoing.

Three companies participated in the tender for eight photovoltaic parks and two of them were selected, while the only bid for the Turceni gas power plant was accepted, Energy-Center reported. President of the Directorate of CE Oltenia Daniel Burlan said he expects special purpose vehicles or SPVs with the likely partners to be established soon for the installation of the facilities.

CEO Daniel Burlan estimated that project firms would be established soon

CE Oltenia is restructuring. The state-owned utility is the main coal producer and thermal power plant operator in the country. The European Commission has given the green light for Romania’s state aid of EUR 2.66 billion for the company’s transition to gas and renewable power plants, with a total capacity of up to 2 GW. CE Oltenia is the third-largest producer of electricity in Romania.

The partners are OMV Petrom and Tinmar Energy

According to the tender results, OMV Petrom will work with EC Oltenia to establish joint ventures for the implementation of solar power plant projects at four locations with a combined capacity of 455 MW.

One of them is a closed ash and slag dump near the Ișalnița thermal power plant, where 85 MW is planned. Other projects are for dumps in the Rovinari complex.

Timar Energy is negotiating on a partnership to build four solar power plants of 280 MW in total and a 475 MW gas-fired power plant, to replace the existing 330 MW lignite-fired thermal power plant Turceni.

One of the said solar plants, with a capacity of 112 MW, will be located at its ash and slag landfill, and the rest will be at the dumps near the Rovinari thermal power plant.

There were no bids for the 850 MW natural gas unit that would replace units 7 and 8 of the Ișalnița thermal power plant, of 330 MW each. A new call for investors will be announced later this month, the article adds.

Protest against pollution in Craiova

Citizens living in the vicinity of the Craiova 2 thermal power plant can hardly wait for changes. They held a protest under masks in front of the entrance to the plant and placed the signs at the gates, saying they wanted to breathe clean air.

Protesters argued that ash covers everything every time the wind blows, a local radio station reported. Locals have been complaining for the past two months that they are covered in ash. The area’s inhabitants say their houses, yards, and cars are covered with dust from the thermal power plant, which belongs to CE Oltenia.

According to the restructuring plan, the utility should be fully decarbonized in 2026. Romania has pledged to phase out coal by 2032.

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