MECMA: Electricity supply and exports to be limited or halted Feb. 16 – March 15, 2012

he Transelectrica National Electricity Transmission Corporation might limit or halt electricity exports or limit electricity supply February 16 – March 15, 2012, given that bad weather is forecast to extend throughout February, reads a draft Government decision published on Monday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Business Milieu (MECMA).

These measures could be applied in succession until a balance is reached between output and consumption and the minimum reserves required for the safe functioning of the national grid are achieved.

A substantial electricity deficit, which rose continually from and average of 1,000-1,500 MW in Q 4, 2011 to 2,000 – 2,500 MW in the second part of January and first ten days of February 2012, has reportedly led to major imbalances between the electricity contracts actually concluded and actual consumption. At the same time, electricity prices on the centrally managed electricity market have gone up uncontrollably in the absence of enough sales bids to meet the electricity demand, according to MECMA.

The current state of the National Energy Grid is characterised by a substantial electricity deficit as a result of drops in the levels of the inland lakes and rivers to below 50 percent of the normal flows of the Danube River, which led to the Hidroelectrica SA national power corporation activating the force majeure clause, a rise in the use of natural gas to secure heating for the people amidst freezing outside temperatures, coupled with a rise in international fuel prices, including for imported natural gas, and difficulties in securing the supply of coal because of freezing weather and blizzards.

The electricity deficit is also explained by difficulties in securing the natural gas resources and the rising use of naphtha by power stations under the same hard weather conditions.

Transelectrica on Monday reported that there is a deficit in Romania’s National Electricity Grid as a result of the bad weather of late, which makes it impossible for it to cover the necessary electricity use at times and to cover exports.

The corporation announced it will reduce its export schedule to cope with the emergencies, with approval from the National Energy Regulatory Authority.

Romania exported 2.457 billion KWh of electricity in 2011, down 584 million KWh, or 19.2 percent from 2010.

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