© ICIS HEREN - Serbia redirects cross-border flows to secure power supply
The Serbian state-owned electricity incumbent Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) has received priority access to all cross-border transmission capacity under a new government order, as the country remains in a state of energy emergency and prices continue to spike in the spot market.
The government has ordered transmission system operator Elektromreza Srbije to direct all cross-border capacity to EPS in a bid to keep households supplied with power while Serbia struggles to meet spiking electricity demand.
Closures and capacity cuts at the electricity grids in neighbouring countries will still limiting the electricity imports available to EPS.
The order is effective from 11-29 February, the government announced on Saturday (11th February).
The measure suspends the remaining Serbian market for net cross-border capacities. Transit flows will not be blocked.
The government proposed the measure because extremely low temperatures have boosted demand while heavy precipitation has cut supply.
Other options to boost Serbian production have been exhausted, according to the statement. One supply issue appears to be receding, however. Coal supplies from the Kolubara mines, which were disrupted by the cold temperatures have been partially restored, EPS said on Sunday (12th February).
Energy consumption fell by 50GWh on Sunday (12th February) following government appeals to the public to save electricity, EPS added. That equates to around one-third of recent record demand figures.
To cut consumption further, 17 February will be a non-working day in Serbia and authorities and businesses are recommended to minimise or suspend work on 13 and 14 February. EPS has also stopped supply to industrial customers.
The freezing weather in the Balkan region also has forced Macedonia to cut its export capacity. The cuts came on Monday (13th February) and will last until the end of the month, the Macedonian government said in a statement on Sunday (12th February).
Serbia remains in a state of emergency, declared on 5 February following severe weather conditions (see EDEM 06 February 2012 ).
Electricity demand hit a record 162GWh on 9 February. The country`s electricity shortage worsened after Bulgaria stopped electricity exports completely on Friday (10th February) for an indefinite time and Romania cut its export capacity on Saturday (11th February), in both cases because of soaring consumption during the ongoing cold snap (see EDEM 09 February 2012 and EDEM 10 February 2012).
This made Serbian spot prices rise, with the Weekend and Week 7 Baseload both at €123.00/MWh on Friday (10th February) after starting at €125.00/MWh - the highest closing prices recorded by ICIS Heren.
(THE ICIS HEREN REPORTS - EDEM 16030 / 13 February 2012)

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