One of the factors contributing to the record-high cost of electricity in Estonia on Wednesday is the repairs currently underway on several energy blocks at the power plants in Narva. While two blocks will be restarted within the next few days, Auvere Power Plant is also slated to be shut down for a month of repairs this fall.
Enefit Power board chairman Andres Vainola told ERR's radio news on Wednesday that their total production capacity is approximately 1,300 megawatts, of which only just over a third is currently on the market.
"If you look at the entire Baltic region, just yesterday there were nearly 2,000 megawatts of natural gas-fired power plants off the market; today it's 1,500," Vainola highlighted. "One natural-gas fired block is currently online in Lithuania."
As of Wednesday, three of Enefit's seven energy blocks were online, and the first boiler in the fourth is now slated to be restarted, which will reach the market Thursday or Friday. Auvere Power Plant will start to be brought back online on Friday as well.
"After that, we'll have five of seven energy blocks on the market," the board chairman said. "The summer period with its low demand in terms of energy is precisely when we do repairs and maintenance on our power plants."
He added that taking several energy blocks offline at once for repairs is routine procedure, noting that if you look at the entire region, it's typical for various energy companies' production capacities to be undergoing repairs each summer.
Maintenance is typically planned a year to a year and a half ahead, which allows for necessary parts to be ordered. All nodes are gone over during maintenance as well, from fuel feeds to turbines and generators.
Auvere's annual repairs are scheduled to take place from mid-October through mid-November this year, which will allow for several things to be done at once.
"We have massive amounts of other activities planned for the same length of time as the standard annual maintenance," Vainola said. "First of all, we'll be hooking the fuel feed of our new chemical plant currently under construction to the fuel feed of Auvere Power Plant during annual maintenance. At the same time, we'll also be carrying out the modernization of Auvere Power Plant in order to boost its reliability."
Maintenance conducted each summer is aimed at preventing wintertime failures, although emergencies can still come up regardless, he said. Nonetheless, maintenance helps bring these to a minimum while also ensuring maximum reliability.
Record high €4,000 on Wednesday
Electricity prices in Nord Pool's Estonian price area reached record highs on Wednesday, with the average price for August 17 reaching €682.05 per megawatt-hour and the hourly price to peak at €4,000 per megawatt-hour from 5-6 p.m. (6-7 p.m. Estonian time), which is also the power exchange's cap.
Latvia and Lithuania will both likewise see their electricity prices peak at €4,000 at the same time on Wednesday, however both countries' average daily prices are exceeding Estonia's at €823.98.
Estonia's previous record high average electricity price was set last Monday, when the daily average price reached €501 per megawatt-hour.
The previous hourly electricity price record of €1,000.07 per megawatt-hour was set on December 7, 2021.
Editor: Aili Vahtla