Iernut, Mintia and Isalnita: New Hot Spots on the Energy Map in Romania

Energy Minister Sebastian-Ioan Burduja has asked Duro Felguera and Romgaz to speed up work on the new combined cycle gas turbine power plant under construction in Iernut. The project foresees the construction of a 430 MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant on the site of the existing Ludus – Iernut thermal power plant. The power plant should have been commissioned in early 2020, according to initial plans. Romania also has plans to build other gas-fired power plants that will come on stream in the next few years.

“I am glad that we managed to unlock this extremely important project for the company, for the Ministry, as Romgaz’s majority shareholder, and for the country. It is the first conventional energy project started after 1990 to be carried out in western Romania. Until now, in the south of the country, we were used to generating electricity and then transporting it to consumers, including those in the west of the country, with all the drawbacks that this entails, from higher own technological consumption due to distance to security of supply risks. We have promised that the new power plant would be completed by the end of next year and we are here to see how the work is going. I am pleased to see that the work is proceeding at a satisfactory pace. The completion of the new energy unit is important both for the security of supply of household and industrial consumers and for the energy security of the country and the region. Let’s not forget that we must also help our brothers across the Prut! Romania and Romgaz are and can become even more important suppliers of security, both in terms of electricity and natural gas,” said the energy minister during his visit to the Iernut construction site.

The insolvency of the contractors, Duro Felguera and Romelectro, with whom Romgaz signed a contract in 2016, has led to an extremely complicated legal situation and delays in implementation. The deadline for completion of the new power plant was set at 16 months from the date of the order to restart work, given on August 1, 2023, under a new contract with the Spanish firm Duro Felguera. Romgaz took over in 2013 the current Iernut power plant from the electricity and heat producer ELCEN Bucharest to settle a debt of RON 653mln.

The thermal power plant, which is financed with funds from the National Investment Plan (NIP), is due for completion at the end of next year, after Romgaz on April 3 signed a new procurement contract for the completion of works and commissioning of the unit with the Spanish company Duro Felguera. Iernut power plant benefits from a strategic position, being located at the heart of the national energy system. This project aims at covering the national electricity consumption by acting on the wholesale and balancing electricity markets, providing technological services for the national energy system, eliminating possible bottlenecks in the grid in the north-west of Romania. The power plant will have four gas turbines, four heat recovery steam generators with three levels of pressure, and two steam turbines.


A new thermal power plant in Mintia

In addition to the Iernut thermal power plant, Romania is also preparing to build a new power plant at Mintia, where work has already started on demolishing the old unit. The thermal power plant, to be built by Mass Global Energy Rom with equipment from Siemens, will have a capacity of 1,500 MW and will start producing electricity in two years. According to the investment plan, these will exceed EUR 1bn and will transform the thermal power plant into the largest and most efficient gas-fired power generation capacity in the European Union. The most modern technologies will be used, which will allow, in accordance with the European taxonomy, the production of at least 1500 MW. The first phase of the investment will be completed within 24 months, with the project reaching full maturity in 36 months. The power plant components will be prepared for the transition to new hydrogen technologies. The Mintia thermal power plant, owned by the Hunedoara Energy Complex (HCE), was sold last summer. HCE’s insolvency administrator, Expert Insolventa, has announced the sale of the power plant by public auction to Mass Global Energy Rom, part of Mass Group Holding, a major global energy producer with over 8500 MW of capacity.


Start of works in Isalnita

Alro, one of the investors that will build the gas-fired power plant in partnership with Complexul Energetic Oltenia (CEO), has announced the registration of the company that will develop the new 850 MW power plant in Isalnita. It is called CCGT Power Isalnita S.A., a company in which Alro S.A. holds a 40.1% stake (the remaining 59.9% is held by CEO) and which, as a SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle), will develop a gas-fired power generation unit with a total installed capacity of 850 MW. The future unit will replace two old coal-fired units, each with a capacity of 315 MW. The restructuring plan of CEO involves the gradual closure of the coal-fired units and the construction of photovoltaic parks with a capacity of 735 MW and gas-fired power plants, one in Turceni, of 475 MW, and another in Isalnita, of 850 MW. CEO receives EUR 895 million for these projects from the Modernisation Fund.

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