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Kosovo anticipates warmer weekend with planned start-up of power plants

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Kosovo is anticipating a warmer weekend with the planned start-up of Kosovo A power plant's Unit 3 which should start producing up to 110 megawatts of electricity sometime tonight, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) said today.
Unit 1 of Kosovo B is also expected to go on line tomorrow, producing another 230 megawatts of power.

"This should give us a total of some 450 megawatts of power, produced locally over the weekend, in addition to imported electricity, which runs to a little over 100 megawatts," UNMIK spokeswoman Nadia Younes told journalists in Pristina.

Kosovo was plunged into a power crisis on Monday when a fire shut down the main power plant, reducing the power available to 160 megawatts, less than a third of the minimum requirements.

Experts from Zagreb, Croatia were scheduled to arrive today to assess the damage caused by the fire at Kosovo B power plant's Unit 2. Preliminary estimates are that between three and five weeks will be needed to repair the plant.

Technical experts are also expected to arrive from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to work on the modalities of using its grid to transmit power made available by Greece to Kosovo.

Meanwhile, Norwegian deminers are clearing the ground between Orahovac and the Macedonian border so that repairs can continue on that vital line. Another team from Zimbabwe, Mintech, is demining areas around power lines and pylons using mine-sniffing dogs. They are expected to complete the task in the next two weeks, according UNHCR spokesman Peter Kessler.