Electric Power Industry of Serbia spent 60 million euros on emergency import of electricity in one week

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The Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) spent about 60 million euros in eight days on the emergency import of electricity due to the collapse of the electric power system, ie the failure of almost all blocks in the largest thermal power plant in Serbia, Nikola Tesla (TENT).
That expense, as stated, was made in the period from Sunday, December 12, to Sunday, December 19.
According to data from the Energy flux portal of the Electric Network of Serbia, which shows data on production, imports and prices of electricity in Serbia and the region, the peak period in that interval was Monday to Thursday, when more than 40 million euros were spent in just four days.
Although, according to the statements of the President of Serbia during the visit to Kostolac two days ago, all blocks were returned to the network, yesterday and the last block A6 in TENT, electricity imports, although much lower than last week, continued yesterday.
For the sake of comparison, the total investments of EPS last year amounted to around 320 million euros, which means that one fifth of the annual investments were taken away by one emergency week. Or, since last year’s profit was around 137 million euros, almost half of the annual profit was spent on emergency import of electricity due to the lack of adequate coal in just one week.
The collapse, although according to the executive director for energy production in EPS Miroslav Tomasevic, “not the collapse of the system, because 30,000 consumers were left without electricity, so the fault is resolved, and the collapse is when the whole country is left without electricity,” he began in Sunday morning with a drastic reduction in electricity production in thermal power plants due to poor coal quality.
Capacities have dropped from the standard 2,700 megawatts to just 1,000 to 1,200 megawatts per hour. On Sunday, thanks to the fact that it was a non-working day and lower consumption of the hydroelectric power plant, they managed to compensate for a large part of the decline in coal production, so “only” about three million euros were spent on imports.
Also, on Sunday until the afternoon, the wind farms worked with almost full capacity of 350 megawatts, but then the wind slowed down, and then stopped almost completely until Friday morning, so no electricity was produced.
As stated, that was also the reason why, at the Government session on Tuesday, the director of EMS, Jelena Matejić, warned of the danger if wind and solar exceed 20% of the share in the production mix.
The balancing costs, even though the electricity was bought by the Electric Network of Serbia (EMS) in the first place, are still transferred to EPS, and they are not included in this calculation.
The wind turbines started operating on Friday that week, and thus the import of electricity was significantly reduced from 1,200 to 975 megawatts per hour.
However, the most important for the power system are certainly thermal power plants, which make up about 70 percent of the total production capacity. The huge drop in production during December 12 lasted until the afternoon of December 15, when the capacities of thermal power plants gradually returned, and production increased to about 2,000 megawatts per hour. However, only on Saturday morning, production was returned to the level of 2,500 megawatts.
In accordance with the return of blocks to the network, the outflow of foreign currency from EPS accounts also decreased. Thus, about 9.3 million euros were spent on Monday, December 13, and 12.7 million on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the import cost around 9.15 million euros, and on Thursday around 10.5 million euros.
On Friday, with the return of electricity from the wind generator, the import dropped to about seven million euros, so for the weekend, about 8.5 million euros of electricity was imported.
It is also interesting that the largest amount of electricity was imported at night, between midnight and eight in the morning, when the consumption was the lowest, but also the cheapest, because the hydro potentials were stored.
For example, on Thursday morning between midnight and five in the morning, about 1,300 megawatts per hour were imported at a price of about 260 euros per megawatt-hour. On Wednesday, for example, from midnight to four in the morning, imports covered almost 40 percent of consumption. Then, from eight o’clock when consumption started, both in households and in the economy, 1,200 megawatts per hour were imported, but the price was over 400 euros.
It was the most expensive electricity purchased during this crisis period. Already for the weekend, in addition to the quantity, the price was also reduced, so on Sunday, for example, it went from 140 euros at night to 260 euros per megawatt-hour during peak hours.
According to those informed, EPS bought electricity, not only on SEEPEX, the domestic electricity exchange, but also on other exchanges. This is proved by the fact that electricity was traded on this electricity exchange in the period from December 15 to 19 for about 20.5 million euros, while the total import in that period amounted to about 35 million euros.
By the way, this loss of TENT blocks happened at the worst possible moment because the electricity in Europe is at record price levels. Yesterday, on the stock exchanges for the day before, the average price of megawatts was almost 300 euros in the whole of Europe, and Serbia was among the most expensive markets with 353 euros per megawatt.
At SEEPEX, the price of megawatts for electricity purchased for tomorrow is 396 euros, with a maximum price of as much as 452 euros per megawatt hour, Beta reports.