Amid the energy crisis, Hungary has to deal with other problems, too. Its second-largest power plant, the Mátra plant has seen many malfunctions in the previous weeks. It has incredibly high pollution rates, but the prime minister, Viktor Orbán wants it to operate with higher outputs. Because of the frequent breakdowns, domestic energy production suffers a lot.
Hungary’s second-largest power plant in Mátra had seen frequent breakdowns in the previous days, reports Népszava.hu. The power plant is more than fifty years old and it should have been decommissioned long ago. However, the energy crisis forced the delay of these plans. The previous owner of the facility and the government repeatedly failed to report these malfunctions. However, a domestic company makes detailed reports about these interruptions.
According to the investigation, the power plant suffered multiple breakdowns in different blocks. In just the past five days, there have been thirteen unexpected halts in the operations. Most of the problems are happening with the lignite production blocks, which generate power by burning lignite. These are the most damaging to the environment too. However, instead of the five blocks, only three operate. Other coal power plants in the country have already been decommissioned, therefore the Mátra power plant plays a crucial role in energy production.
The state registry tells us that there were days when the Mátra power plant did not produce any electricity at all. Even when it is in operation, out of the 950 MW output, it can only produce around 400-600 MW most of the time. The power plant in accordance with the original plans should be closed down in 2029 or 2030. This probably will not happen.
The energy crisis obviously changed the plans. The power plant will remain in operation for an uncertain amount of time. There is a disagreement between government officials. Some say that the power plant will remain in operation, others say that only coal mining will be extended. But in recent weeks, Viktor Orbán also stated that the Mátra power plant will be restarted. As things now stand, the power plant’s output will be increased by one quarter, said László Palkovits minister.
The main problem with the increased output is that the old appliances cannot keep up with the demand. The more they try to boost the output, the more frequent the malfunctions will become. In case of extended stops in the production of the facility, the import can be expanded from neighbouring countries. This is much more costly, but probably not as much as the renovation of the already obsolete power plant.