Energy Crisis

Two coal plants in Western Balkans go offline due to malfunctions

Two coal plants Western Balkans offline malfunctions Kosovo a Pljevlja

Photo: Kosovo A (EPS)

Published

September 27, 2022

Country

,

Comments

1

Share

Published:

September 27, 2022

Country:

,

Comments:

1

Share

Coal-fired thermal power plants Pljevlja in Montenegro and Kosovo A broke down, adding to concerns about the possibility of blackouts in the region in the winter.

Electric power systems in the Western Balkans are strained by the lack of coal and this year’s severe drought, which almost depleted hydropower reservoirs. But the series of outages at old coal plants are the biggest risk factor – malfunctions at Pljevlja in Montenegro and Kosovo A have just taken the two facilities offline.

Fires and breakdowns caused blackouts last winter in Serbia and Kosovo* and even impacted the stability of the pan-European transmission network. A significant share of households and companies use inefficient air conditioners and other electric devices for heating, which means power consumption will spike as cold weather sets in.

Coal plants in North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo* have proven to be unreliable. The troubles are getting worse as importing electricity is expensive. It is unclear whether state-owned utilities will be able to afford emergency imports in case of sudden shortfalls in domestic output or if there will be any electricity to buy from abroad.

Usual malfunction in Pljevlja

Two nights ago, people living in the town of Pljevlja were woken up by what they said was a loud noise. According to the media, it is the regular sound of the facility shutting down or coming back online.

Officially, government-controlled coal and power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG) said that what happened was a pipe leak, “a usual malfunction,” and that the coal plant would be repaired by tomorrow morning.

KEK identifying source of crash

The explanation issued by Kosovo Energy Corp. (KEK) for the shutdown of the A3 unit in Kosovo A was even more perplexing. The utility said it is working with transmission system operator KOSTT to “identify the source” of the defect.

The company claimed it secured emergency deliveries to cover the shortage. A3 got back online last week after a recent crash. Rolling blackouts are becoming more frequent in Kosovo*, not least because distribution system operator KEDS lacks funds to purchase electricity elsewhere.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
Comments (1)
Austen / September 29, 2022

The statement “inefficient air conditioners” needs qualifying: these are air source heat pumps and therefore very energy efficient compared to electric radiators and similar to gas. To me the statement is a mistake

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

Romania complete dormant Pascani hydropower EU funds

Romania to complete dormant Pașcani hydropower project with EU funds

05 December 2022 - Romania has included the Pașcani hydropower project, which is on hold since 2018, on the list for EU grants

ENTSO-E Winter Outlook supply risks possible in six European countries

ENTSO-E Winter Outlook: Supply risks possible in six European countries

05 December 2022 - ENTSO-E’s warning is part of the Winter Outlook 2022-2023, an analysis of the security of electricity supply on a pan-European level

Greece record 47 1 electricity renewables 2022

Greece produces record 47.1% of electricity from renewables so far in 2022

05 December 2022 - The share of electricity demand in Greece covered from renewable sources climbed to an unseen 47.1% in the first ten months of the year

Egypt add 1 1 GW solar wind power cheapest rates Africa

Egypt to add 1.1 GW in solar, wind power with cheapest rates in Africa

02 December 2022 - Two giant solar and wind power plants in Egypt will supply electricity at the lowest rates in Africa, IFC said