June 16, 2024
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Slovenia: TEŠ and the Velenje coal mine could be closed before the planned deadline

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Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob said that the coal-fired thermal power plant Šoštanj and its mine Velenje may end operations before the expected closure in 2033. It would happen “not because of politics, not because of the climate, but because of economics,” he explained.
State-owned energy company Holding Slovenske elektrarne (HSE) expects significant losses in the operation of TEŠ and the Premogovnik Velenje mine. An analysis is underway as a basis for decisions on the division and it is expected to be completed in the second half of the year. Prime Minister Robert Golob has confirmed that it includes scenarios for closure or sharp production cuts within the next three years.
The country’s strategy envisages the shutdown by 2033. But the division is seen suffering more than 2 billion euros in operating losses by then, Dnevnik reported earlier. It could threaten HSE’s existence. The company is also considering the possibility of spinning off TEŠ and the firm operating the mine into a separate entity.
Golob said he doesn’t believe the coal plant would last until 2032 “not because of politics, not because of the climate, but because of the economy.”
Uncompetitiveness, the cost of emission allowances and the introduction of stricter environmental rules are jeopardizing such facilities in other Southeastern European countries as well, especially Bulgaria. On the other hand, as part of the energy market design reform, the European Union will allow member states to provide financial support to essential power plants through so-called capacity mechanisms.
HSE told state news agency STA that it is working on solutions for coal miners and other workers and stakeholders. The closure of TEŠ and Premogovnik Velenje wouldn’t be such an issue from an energy point of view as it would financially and socially, the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Energy pointed out.

The plan to restructure the facility includes the installation of a floating solar power plant, hydrogen production and other new technologies. The ministry added it could be possible to cover the losses from TEŠ’s operations with renewables.

There are 2,000 employees in Premogovnik Velenje, including activities other than coal production, and 300 in TEŠ, Balkan Green Energy News reports.


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