Montenegro must find a way to use the potential it has in the energy sector, primarily hydro, wind and solar, in the shortest possible period, announced the Minister of Capital Investments, Ervin Ibrahimović.
At the session of the Committee for Economy, Finance and Budget, where the situation and challenges in the energy sector were discussed, he said that we are all aware that the issue of energy is a new reality and a global problem that no one can be immune to.
Ibrahimović said that the government is aware that energy production in Montenegro has shown weakness when it comes to diversification.
“We must improve the way of production, especially of renewable energy sources (RES). We must recognize whether the production from Thermal Power Plant (TE) Pljevlja should continue. We know that its overhaul is planned for 2024 and that we will be ready for that production. We must recognize all these challenges”, said Ibrahimović.
Montenegro, as he claims, has knowledge and intelligence, especially when everyone unites, without populism and politicking.
“Considering this much solar, hydro and wind potential, as well as biomass and LNG, we have to sit down and plan how in the next period, in the shortest possible period, to use all these potentials.” There are investors who familiarize themselves with the laws, some of them don’t like those acts, but I hope we will correct that regulation in the coming period”, said Ibrahimović.
He announced that intensive work is being done on the preparation of the first national energy and climate plan, which will be the development plan for the energy sector of Montenegro and will aim to meet the demand for energy.
The President of the Board of Directors of EPCG, Milutin Đukanović, said that they have launched many long-term projects in that company, and Montenegro needs solutions immediately and now.
He added that the company is guided by a new business policy to use identical energy infrastructure of hydro and solar potential.
“For almost six months, the Peručica and Piva hydroelectric plants have not been working. “Imagine if we had solar panels on the same energy infrastructure, that would already be measured in hundreds of millions of EUR”, specified Đukanović.
He said that in the energy sector, investments return extremely quickly, that everything is profitable and profitable, as well as that new jobs are being created, and the economy is becoming more competitive.
“Both the Parliament and the Government should declare projects in the field of energy as projects of national importance and interest”, added Đukanović.
According to him, EPCG’s prospects are outstanding.
“We are in the red by around EUR 80 million, but if the hydrology this year was like 2021, we would be in the plus of EUR 80 million in trade, that is, the exchange of electricity”, claims Đukanović.
Chairman of the session and MP of the Movement for Change (PzP), Branko Radulović, said that Montenegro lacks umbrella strategic documents.
According to him, the potential of the energy sector represents the greatest opportunity for dynamic, sustainable and long-term development of Montenegro.
“Intelligence and money are prerequisites for the development of the energy sector, and Montenegro has that”, Radulović believes.
He added that ministries for energy, transport and tourism should be established.
Radulović, speaking about Željezara Nikšić, stated that the future of that company and the social welfare of workers is a matter for the Government and judicial authorities, not EPCG.
“Establishing the joint-stock company Industrija Crne Gore and developing the production of steel and aluminum and metal processing is the optimal solution”, said Radulović.
The government, as he said, must promote the energy efficiency improvement program with the local administration.
The executive director of EPCG, Nikola Rovčanin, announced that the company fulfilled its basic legal obligation during the energy crisis – orderly, contoured and stable supply to all consumers and the economy.
“EPCG carried the complete energy crisis on its back and showed elasticity and stability when we compare all energy companies in the region and Europe”, added Rovčanin.
He reminded that since 1982, no energy facility has been built in Montenegro.
“Dozens of governments, ministers and boards of directors have passed, and although consumption has increased and the growth of the tourism industry has been recorded, this has not been accompanied by the construction of new energy facilities. And today’s situation in EPCG is that we are hostage to objective circumstances that we cannot influence,” said Rovčanin.
He stated that, in addition, they cannot influence two other factors – bad hydrology and the state of the stock market.
“Where we were able to influence, we achieved historic results”, claims Rovčanin.
The Minister of Finance, Aleksandar Damjanović, said that Montenegro has undeniable potential in the energy sector.
“The energy transition has begun. We have what we have at the level of using renewable resources and everything that is our development opportunity. Somewhere we became interesting as a potential partner, which we were not before. There is serious interest from investors, especially for solar and wind power plants”, added Damjanović.
He said that he expects everyone to be ready to take advantage of an energy opportunity that has been presented to Montenegro now and will never be again.
“In some perspective, with all the respect for tourism, organic farming, digital economy and some other economic branches, I don’t see a greater chance for progress and full valorization, except for energy”, concluded Damjanović, local media writes.