One of the reasons for the increased pollution is that the Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant violated the number of working hours

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Eco-team coordinator Diana Milev Čavor warned that proceedings were initiated against Montenegro because it did not respect the new air pollution standards, and one of the reasons for the increased pollution is that the Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant violated the number of permitted working hours.

The executive director of EPCG Nikola Rovčanin said that the problems were inherited, and that the reconstruction of the thermal power plant will be finished in 2025, when we will have the cleanest thermal power plant. He noted that TE Montenegro saved EUR 450 million for the electricity it would have had to import in the previous two years.

As Milev Čavor explained in the show “Good morning Montenegro”, five years ago new air pollution standards came into force in the Western Balkans, in accordance with the agreement on the establishment of the Energy Community on sulfur dioxide emissions from thermal power plants, through the directive on large combustion plants, which aim to reduce pollution emissions from the plant.

However, as she said, this has not happened in the previous five years in Montenegro.  The situation has hardly changed, and in certain situations and facilities, the situation has even worsened. There was more pollution – she said.

When it comes specifically to Montenegro, emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides fluctuated, with the fact that in 2020, when the Pljevlja TPP was working at full capacity and violated the permitted number of hours, the emissions were significantly higher, Milev Čavor said.

When it comes to the emission of PM particles, it has been constantly growing since 2018, and in 2022 it was twice as high as in 2018. At the beginning of the year, Pljevlja was among the most polluted cities in the world due to the concentration of PM particles – she stated.

He notes that Montenegro does not have a national plan to reduce emissions, but that it had the obligation to comply with the clause according to which the thermal power plant cannot operate for 20,000 working hours.

– That was also not respected. We are well aware that misdemeanor proceedings have been initiated against each such member of the European Energy Community. The proceedings against Montenegro are still ongoing. We expect perhaps at the end of the year that there will be talks about sanctioning the Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant, but those sanctions are not monetary and do not have sufficient weight, which motivated all the countries of the region to not respect the contract – she explained.

She said that the situation is worrisome and that the countries of the region have shown neither responsibility nor concern for the health of citizens. The final environmental reconstruction of Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant will be in 2025, said the executive director of Elektroprivreda Montenegro Nikola Rovčanin.

– We inherited a bad situation, a conceptual solution that was not good. We had to work on improving the contract. We have completed the main project, now 75 percent of the construction works on the reconstruction have been completed, the equipment is being installed. The fact that 35 percent of the work has already been paid speaks of the seriousness of the project – he said.

When he took office, as he says, TE already had 23,000 working hours.  We are fully aware of the excess of both nitrogen and sulfur oxides, but now the ecological reconstruction is going according to plan – he said. He said that they are working on harmonizing nitrogen, sulfur and powdery substances with strict EU directives.

After completion, sulfur oxides will be 50 times lower, within the limits of EU directives. The point is transition, because when you inherit problems, you can’t solve them overnight. The reconstruction is proceeding according to the planned dynamics – he said.

He notes that TE is not responsible for the state of PM particles in Pljevlja.

Rovčanin said that the parliament lifted the limit on the operation of the thermal power plant.
TE produced EUR 580 million in 2021 and 2022. When we exclude fixed costs of 130 million from that, it remains only 450 million. If it weren’t for her, Montenegro would have had to import electricity at a market value of 450 million for those two years – he said, adding that it would be difficult for the state to provide that much money.

He pointed out that we are on the threshold of a solution and that we will have the cleanest TE in the region.  I think that Montenegro will have energy stability – he said.


Source: Monte Business

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