Romania’s second-biggest power producer Complexul Energetic Oltenia (CE Oltenia) intends to shut down four out of 12 units in coal-fired power plants and coal mines until 2025. In order to compensate for the capacities, the company plans to construct gas-fired and renewable energy units, local media reported.
Closures and investments are envisaged by the restructuring or decarbonization program which is part of the memorandum approved by the Romanian government at the end of last year.
Closures and investments are envisaged by the restructuring or decarbonization program
The state is trying to find a solution for the utility, which has had financial difficulties for years. In October, financial think-tank Carbon Tracker published a report on coal power plants in the European Union, in which it said CE Oltenia was facing losses of EUR 479 million in 2019.
The company will receive a RON 1.2 billion (EUR 251 million) state loan which to pay emission allowances for the power generated last year. Additional state aid will also be needed and it will be the subject of EU scrutiny procedures.
Existing coal power plants will be replaced with gas-fired facilities, solar parks
CE Oltenia now operates with thermal power plants of 3.24 GW in total – Craiova 2, Isalnita, Rovinari, and Turceni.
Closed units will be replaced with 1.3 GW in gas-fired facilities, solar parks of 700 MW installed on ash deposits and small hydropower plants 12 MW.
Old capacities will apparently be shut down after the new ones are put on the grid.
It is worth noting that Romania’s prime minister Ludovic Orban has warned the goal from the EU Green Deal, to cut CO2 emissions by 55%, may lead to the phaseout of 40% of the country’s installed power capacity.
According to e-nergia.ro, as a result of the implementation of the decarbonization program, the company’s emissions will decrease from 0.91 tonnes of CO2/MWh in 2019 to 0.62 tonnes in 2025.