March 22 (SeeNews) - Montenegro's steelworks EPCG Zeljezara Niksic, a company set up by state-owned power utility EPCG, said that its first solar power plant is expected to become operational by June, local media reported on Wednesday.
“Our intention is to have ten megawatts capacity by the end of the year, which would generate enough funds to sustain our operations," local media outlet Vijesti quoted Djordje Manojlovic, executive director of EPCG Zeljezara Niksic, as saying in an interview.
The company has started preparations for the installation of a rooftop solar photovoltaic power plant with capacity of 1.7 MW and is working on the construction of a ground-mounted 5 MW solar park, Manojlovic added.
"The income from a 10 MW plant would be around 2 million euro per year," public TV RTCG quoted EPCG-Zeljezara Niksic's executive director Djordjije Djukanovic as saying earlier this week.
In January, Vijesti reported that EPCG Zeljezara Niksic would install a solar power plant with a total capacity of 47 MW, enough to produce 61,000 MWh per year at a cost of 24 euro per MWh. EPCG - Zeljezara Solar would then sell electricity to state-owned power utility company EPCG.
EPCG bought the Zeljezara Niksic steel mill from Turkey's Toscelik for 20 million euro ($21.6 million) under a deal signed in December 2022. In January 2023 EPCG that it would transfer the property acquired to Zeljezara Niksic in order to provide additional support for the development of solar and other types of renewable energy solutions.
Toscelik acquired Zeljezara Niksic in 2012 for 15.1 million euro after placing the best bid in a tender launched by the Montenegrin government. The Turkish owner suspended production at Zeljezara Niksic in March 2021, due to a drop in orders caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In September 2022, Toscelik dismissed all 229 workers from the steel mill.
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