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January 18, 2022

Jiu Valley: Country’s oldest mining centre decapitated by Energy Ministry

Although it has no strategy for mining and the country’s energy industry, the Energy Ministry is taking an important step toward leaving coal out of Romania’s energy mix.

We are talking about the closing of mines in the country’s oldest mining area – the Jiu Valley. The decision was announced at the end of last week by Energy Minister Victor Grigorescu. Thus, according to him, the Lonea and Lupeni mines in Jiu Valley will enter the mine-closing programme by 2018 and only the Livezeni and Vulcan mines will remain as part of the Hunedoara Energy Holding (HEH).

At a press conference, the minister added that only a power group at the Paroseni fossil fuel power plant and a power group at Mintia-Deva, which total 400 MW, will be kept as part of HEH.

On Friday, the minister presented the plan for the restructuring of HEH, which will be sent to the European Commission.

“We started off from the idea that the Hunedoara Holding’s problem is not a social one, but one of the security of the energy system, since in that area of the country there are very few producers. The conclusion of the mining commission’s is that we need two energy groups, one in Parosani and one in Deva, which we should associate with two mines that we consider viable out of the four currently working,” the minister said.

He added that Romania will have to renegotiate with the European Commission also the mine closing plan by 2018. Three other mines from Jiu Valley, which were not part of HEH, were included in this plan in recent years.

“Of the four mines that are currently part of the holding, Livezeni and Vulcan seem to be the most viable, while the other two – Lonea and Lupeni – will enter the mine-closing programme by 2018, a programme we have already agreed with the European Commission,” Grigorescu added.

Why is the minister talking about appearances? This means no social or economic impact studies have been authored.

Hunedoara Energy Holding has been insolvent since January 7 and has 6,300 employees who are working at the Lonea, Lupeni, Livezeni and Vulcani mines and at the Mintia and Paroseni fossil fuel power plants.

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