June 9, 2020 / 1:36 PM / 2 months ago

Montenegro utility signs coal plant clean-up deal with Chinese-led group

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Montenegro power utility EPCG on Tuesday signed a deal with a consortium led by China’s Dongfang Electric International Corporation to refurbish its only coal-fired power plant and reduce its emissions in line with European Union standards.

The Chinese company, part of Dongfang Electric Corporation Ltd., will carry out project at the ageing 210 megawatt (MW) Pljevlja power plant for 54.4 million euros ($61.42 million), the utility EPCG said in a statement.

The project, set to be completed in 2023, should also extend the power plant’s lifespan by 30 years, EPCG said.

“Montenegro will become the first country in the region (Western Balkans) to carry out a complete technical and environmental rehabilitation of a nearly 40 years-old facility,” EPCG said.

Once completed, the Pljevlja plant’s emissions would fall below limits set by Montenegro’s regulations and EU directives. As part of the project, EPCG will also invest 20 million euros to modernise the plant’s ash depot.

EPCG’s shareholders approved a plan last year to increase the government’s stake in EPCG to 85.4% from 76.9%, after Italy’s biggest regional utility A2A, which now holds a 11.9% stake, decided to sell up.

EPCG also operates about 650 MW of installed hydro-power capacity and plans to invest about 700 million euros from 2020 to 2024, targeting mainly renewable energy sources as the country fosters closer ties with the EU.

Reporting by Maja Zuvela. Editing by Jane Merriman

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