Pljevlja power station

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The Pljevlja power station is a 225-megawatt (MW) power station in Montenegro.

A second unit at Pljevlja, Pljevlja II Power Station, was proposed but cancelled in 2019.


The undated satellite photo below shows the power station in Pljevlja.

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The power station is a single-unit of 225 MW operated by the Montenegro utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore. It has been in operation since 1982 and is fueled by lignite coal. It is Montenegro's only coal-fired power station and supplies up to 30% of the country's electric power. Most fuel is supplied from two surface mines operated by Rudnik uglja ad Pljevlja. The older mine is Potrlica, where mining began in 1952. Sumani I is a newer mine with lesser-quality lignite coal.[1]

In November 2019, Elektroprivreda Crne Gore picked a consortium led by China’s Dongfang Electric International Corporation to refurbish the 225 MW plant to bring it in line with European Union pollution standards. The project, set to be completed by 2021, should also extend the lifespan of the plant by 20 years.[2]

Despite discussions of an early 2030 retirement, refurbishment plans to extend the plant's life were underway as of April 2022. The Executive Director of Elektroprivreda Crne Gore stated that though a transition to more sustainable energy options was on the horizon, the modernization of existing thermal plants was necessary to ensure energy security.[3] In August 2022, the refurbishment project's manager stated that equipment installation would begin in March 2023. In addition, they announced that the plant would be offline for seven months in 2024 as they work to get the power station within EU emissions regulations for particulate matter, nitrogen and sulfur.[4] In October 2022, the power utility stated that the ecological construction would be completed in October 2024 and that power generation would not be impacted in 2023.[5]

In September 2022, electricity production in the Balkans was heavily strained by very limited coal supplies and depleted hydropower reservoirs.[6] Coal unit failures at the Pljevlja power station and Kosovo A power station highlighted that energy security and reliability may be a serious concern for Winter 2022/23.[7]

In March 2023, Parliament amended domestic laws in order to allow Pljevlja power station to continue operating beyond the 20,000 hour limit set by the European Union.[8]


The Montenegro government through its power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG) plan to construct a new EUR 300 million, 220 MW lignite plant at the site of the existing Pljevlja lignite power plant in Pljevlja. The plant would use lignite from the nearby Pljevlja mine. As of 2013 the process of finding a strategic investor was ongoing.[9]

In April 2015 EPCG said it had chosen Czech engineering group Skoda Praha, owned by power utility CEZ, as preferred bidder to build the new coal-fired unit. Skoda Praha bid US$379 million to construct a 254-megawatt (MW) unit, while China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) offered US$376 million. Italian bank UniCredit will act as an adviser in selecting a possible partner to co-fund the project.[10]

Italy's A2A, a minority shareholder of Montenegrin utility EPCG with management rights in it, has resisted the idea of constructing the new coal plant.[11] However, the Government of Montenegro signed an agreement to continue cooperation with A2A on the plant. Construction is expected to start at the end of the year.[12]

In October 2016 it was reported that the Czech Export Bank and export credit agency EGAP had decided not to finance the project. It remains unclear who will fund it. According to Bankwatch, the project is financially unviable due to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and declining costs of alternative energies relative to coal.[13]

In February 2017 the Environmental Protection Agency issued approval for the plant. In May 2017 Green Home, a Montenegrin environmental non-governmental organisation, submitted a complaint to the Administrative Court of Montenegro requesting the cancellation of the approval, saying it failed to include several elements stipulated by the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, such as a justification for the decision, responses to comments provided during the public consultation, and a list of measures to address environmental damage during the construction and operation of the plant.[14]

In December 2017 the Montenegrin government terminated the contract with Skoda Praha to build the plant, leaving the project with no main contractor and no financing. Although Chinese company PowerChina has shown interest in the project, the Montenegrin government has decided to de-prioritise it for now, in favour of upgrading the existing plant to comply with its environmental obligations under the Energy Community Treaty.[15] However, the project has still not been officially cancelled.[16]

In May 2018 Chinese state owned company PowerChina, through its daughter company Sechuan Electric, sent an offer to the Montenegrin government for the construction of the TPP Pljevlja’s second block. The size is to be determined.[17]

In May 2019, EPCG Chairman Djoko Krivokapic said the construction of Pljevlja unit 2 is not a priority for the company, as it was focusing on renewable energy, namely wind and solar. EPCG is also planning to invest 60 million euros in environmental upgrades of TPP Pljevlja unit 1 by 2023.[18]

On September 18, 2019, Montenegrin Premier Duško Marković announced that the Government is no longer pursuing Pljevlja II: "we will build something in line with our economic policy, sustainable development and preservation of the environment," he said.[19]


The Montenegrin NGOs Green Home and MANS have criticised plans by the Montenegrin government to choose a strategic partner for Pljevlja II without conducting a proper tender, stating that instead the government planned to sign an intergovernmental agreement and enact a "special law" on the project, creating a legal loophole to move forward on Pljevlja II without proving its benefits.[9]

Retirement discussions

In August 2021, Prime Minister of Montenegro Zdravko Krivokapić and the Minister of Finance and Social Welfare Milojko Spajić said the Pljevlja thermal power plant will most likely have to stop production in 2030 under the pressure of the Energy Community and due to European Union rules.[20]

Project Details of expansion

  • Sponsor: Elektroprivreda Crne Gore
  • Parent company: Elektrivreda Crne Gore
  • Developer: Skoda Praha of CEZ
  • Location: Pljevlja, Montenegro
  • Coordinates: 43.334574, 19.327140 (exact)
  • Status:
    • Unit 1: Operating
    • Unit 2: Cancelled
  • Capacity:
    • Unit 1: 225 MW
    • Unit 2: 254 MW
  • Type: Supercritical
  • Start date:
  • Coal Type: Lignite
  • Coal Source: Pljevlja coal mine
  • Source of financing:

Resources and articles


  1. "Coal-Fired Plants in Bosnia & Montenegro," Industcards, accessed April 2016
  2. "Montenegro's EPCG picks Chinese-led consortium for coal plant clean-up," Reuters, Nov 8, 2019
  3. "EPCG starts ecological reconstruction of TPP Pljevlja," Balkan Green Energy News, April 29, 2022
  4. "7-month shutdown of TPP Pljevlja planned for 2024 as part of ecological reconstruction," Balkan Green Energy News, August 16, 2022
  5. "Rovčanin za "Vijesti": Rekonstrukcija TE Pljevlja za sada ide po planu," Vijesti 25, October 10, 2022
  6. "Serbia doesn’t have enough coal for winter, trade unionist from EPS warns," Balkan Green Energy News, August 15, 2022
  7. "Two coal plants in Western Balkans go offline due to malfunctions," Balkan Green Energy News, September 27, 2022
  8. "Montenegro changes law for coal power plant Pljevlja to continue operating," Balkan Green Energy News, March 3, 2023
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Montenegrins criticise plan to bypass tender procedure in Pljevlja II coal plant procurement," Bankwatch, July 29, 2013.
  10. "Montenegro selects Skoda Praha as preferred bidder for new power plant," Reuters, Apr 20, 2015
  11. "Guest post: Pljevlja shareholder A2A must resist pressure to build new lignite unit in Montenegro," Bankwatch, February 11, 2015.
  12. "Government and A2A agree on future cooperation," Government of Montenegro, Oct 15, 2015
  13. "Pljevlja II lignite power plant, Montenegro," Bankwatch, accessed May 2017
  14. Pippa Gallop, "Environmentalists take planned Montenegrin coal plant to court," Bankwatch, May 16, 2017
  15. "Pljevlja II lignite power plant, Montenegro," Bankwatch, accessed June 2018
  16. "Planned Gacko II lignite plant in Bosnia-Herzegovina likely to make losses, shows new analysis," Bankwatch, April 12, 2018
  17. "Kinezi zainteresovani za drugi blok TE Pljevlja," pvportal, May 19, 2018
  18. "Montenegro: Construction of unit 2 at TPP Pljevlja not a priority for EPCG," SEE Energy News, 22. May 2019
  19. Diana Milev-Čavor, "Montenegro finally cancels Pljevlja II coal power plant," Bankwatch, Sep. 18, 2019
  20. "Coal power plant Pljevlja likely to be shut down by 2030 – Montenegrin prime minister," Balkan Green Energy News, August 12, 2021

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