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Montenegro gives green light to 6.1% power price rise

Montenegro’s energy regulator gave the go-ahead to Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (ECG) to raise its power prices by an average 6.1% next year.

However, the utility said the price hike would not be sufficient to cover its higher operating costs. It said the tariff rise was far below its expectations. “The new tariff is below a level that could stimulate investments and it may also hurt EPCG operation,” it said in a statement.

ECG is expected to post a EUR40m (US$52.07m) loss in 2011. Record low water levels in the Balkans have cut power generation by a third in the first nine months of this year. This forced the utility to boost its own supply with expensive electricity imports to meet demand.

A lack of hydropower plants prevents the country from fully utilising its 10,000GWh hydropower potential while the need for new power sources is acute as the Balkans have been short of investment for nearly two decades as political turmoil and wars hit the region.

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