ELEM to increase national electricity production

The Macedonian Power Plants (ELEM) managing board is making every effort to increase electricity production and minimize the need for import by the year-end, said the company's director-general Dragan Minovski at Sunday's press conference.

He said ELEM's electricity production over the past decade has dropped by the year, with 6,510 GWh produced in 2006 dropping to 5,113 GWh in 2013, 4,300 GWh in 2016, whereas 3,600 GWh are expected in 2017, which is below the 4,000 GWh minimum required for the needs of tariff consumers.

"We are currently analyzing the work of the previous management, taking into account that the drop in production results from the untimely annual maintenance of the three blocs of mining-energy combine (REK) Bitola, along with the poor modernization of the combine's second and third blocs, which cost EUR 66 million, but the capacity of the blocks lowered by 40 MWh, resulting in company losses of more than EUR 130 million", added Minovski.

He added the annual reconstruction of the second bloc has been completed, works on the first one should finish by the end of September, while activities on the third bloc should begin in October.

"The previous management did not reconstruct the country's capacities, failing to prepare them for the autumn and the increased demand during the heating season. Therefore, we need to work on them at a time when they should produce electricity in full swing. They did the easiest thing for electricity production, which is to engage hydro-plants to the limit. All reservoirs are currently spent and the water levels are below the minimum that is required for safe and stable management of the system", said Minovski.

Furthermore, one generator at hydro-plant Kozjak has been out of order since September 2016 and no activities have been undertaken since to put in back on track.

"ELEM had EUR 7,3 million on its account at the time of handover, but the company has to pay loans in the amount of EUR 12,5 million by the year-end. In addition, the account had deposits of EUR 17,8 million, but these funds are planned for reconstructions of the thermal plants and coal excavations in 2017, as well as possible electricity imports over the winter", underlined Minovski.


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