January 19 (SeeNews) - Slovenian lignite mine operator Premogovnik Velenje is exploring opportunities for additional coal imports to guarantee the smooth operation of Sostanj coal-fired power plant TES in 2023, Premogovnik Velenje said.
"Premogovnik Velenje, together with Holding Slovenske Elektrarne (HSE) and TES, have started studying the possibility of importing additional coal, which, together with lignite from Velenje, would ensure even greater operational reliability and stability of production at TES," the coal mine operator said in a statement on Wednesday.
Last year, Premogovnik Velenje concluded two contracts, worth 42.5 million euro ($45.9 million) and 7.9 million euro respectively, for the import of Indonesian coal with Swiss company Petraco to compensate for the reduced amount of domestically produced coal caused by geomechanical problems and coal phase-out measures introduced by the Slovenian government.
"To date, 58,000 tonnes of coal have been imported, with today's train, a total of 60,000 tonnes of coal," Premogovnik Velenje director Janez Roser said.
In January 2022, Slovenia's government adopted a strategic plan to stop using coal for electricity production by 2033. The strategy envisages the closure of the Velenje coal mine, as well as a comprehensive social and economic restructuring of the Zasavje and Savinjska-Saleska coal mining regions.
Under the strategy, the 884 MW TES and the 123 MW Ljubljana coal-fired heat and power station which delivers 90% of the remotely generated heat in Slovenia's capital, will be closed by 2033. However, as the facilities of TES are designed to burn lignite coal with the characteristics of the coal produced at the Velenje mine, parent Holding Slovenske Elektrarne (HSE) is unable to entirely replace local output with imports.
($ = 0.92725 euro)
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