Serb Elektroprivreda Sees Record Output on Abundant Hydro Power

Elektroprivreda Srbije JP, Serbia’s dominant power company, expects a record output this year because of high water levels at its hydro plants and cheap exported power.

Output will be almost 37 billion kilowatt hours, above the 2011 record of 36 billion kilowatt hours, enabling net exports of “at least” 2 billion kilowatt hours, double the five-year average, said management board Chairman Aca Markovic, in an interview in Belgrade today. The company also counts on an average export price of 5 euro cents per kilowatt hour, he said.

“For our usual seasonal buyers in the region, it’ll be cheaper to buy power from our hydro facilities than to burn gas or coal at their own plants,” Markovic said. Rains that caused floods across central Europe earlier this month worked well for the company because hydro works account for 40 percent of available capacity.

The Belgrade-based country’s unconsolidated net loss fell 50 percent last year to $27.5 million on cost cuts, even after last year’s drought depleted power generation at its hydro plants and forced it to turn to costly imports amid soaring prices in the first quarter of 2012.

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