Romania to spend EUR 180mln on innovative underground gas storage project

On 21 February, Energy Minister Anton Anton travelled to Craiova to prepare the steps to promote in Romania an innovative project in the field of natural gas storage. The feasibility study is being started for the 200MW Craiova project – a new group in combined cycle and high-efficiency cogeneration using gas storage in Ghercesti.

The project involves three essential elements: the power plant in Craiova, the underground natural gas storage facility in Ghercesti and renewable energy.

“These three elements must be considered in an integrated manner, starting from the conversion of the power plant in Craiova from coal to natural gas. But the innovation of this process does not refer so much to conversion as to the fact that we will use the wind energy surplus of Romania to store and extract gas from the underground storage facility in Ghercesti. With such a solution, Ghercesti, located very close to the power plant in Craiova, will become one of the largest gas storage facilities in the country. This is an important project, not only for Craiova, but also for the entire country,” Anton Anton said.

The project is in the phase of preparation of the feasibility study and is estimated at EUR 180mln, amount which covers conversion of a new group of 200MW to gas in cogeneration. Financing for the project will be ensured at a rate of 70 percent from European funds and 30 percent from the budget of the Oltenia Energy Complex (Mechanism ETS – Emissions Trading Scheme 10c).

Within technical talks with the management of Oltenia Energy Complex, the new investments at Craiova II power station, i.e. mounting two state-of-the-art steam boilers of 50t/h, on natural gas, were also analysed. The investment, which will be completed in April 2019, is worth about EUR 4mln and will ensure part of the thermal energy necessary for Craiova, respectively back-up for the current capacities.

“I wish there will no longer be disruptions in heat supply to the population in Craiova. I believe this investment will be able to ensure the continuity of heat supply to both household consumers and industrial consumers,” Minister Anton also mentioned.


About ETS Directive 2003/87/EC

The revised Directive 2003/87/EC provides in art. 10c for the possibility of opting for free transitional allocation for the purpose of modernizing electricity production. The derogations refer to the possibility of using free transitional allocation for electricity generation, respectively the exclusion under certain conditions from the full auctioning of greenhouse gas emission allowances for electricity generation. The conditions relate mainly to upgrades in the improvement of technology, retrofitting or the implementation of ‘clean’ technologies. The number of allowances allocated for free decreases gradually until the total free allocation is eliminated in 2020 (for this sector).

Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania and Hungary may benefit from the transitional derogations.

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