Hunedoara Energy Complex (CEH), a Romanian state-owned network of coal mines and power plants, announced a restructuring plan which will lead to the dismissal of 1477 employees. The restructuring will process will involve the closure of the coal-based power plant Mintia (Hunedoara County) which will result in the loss of 662 jobs.
The Mintia power plant ceased operations in March 2021 against a shortage of coal at the four mining plants in the Jiu Valley from where the coal was sourced. The local authorities will subcontract the maintenance of the key systems of the plant to a company which will employ around 70 people.
The Hunedoara Energy Complex (CEH) is to be divided in several independent companies. Plans for the Mintia power plant include a potential takeover by a foreign investor or by the Hunedoara County Council.
By 15 August 2021, all the redundant staff will receive compensatory payments of approx. €10,000 each and a monthly income supplementing unemployment benefits which will be granted for at least two years.
‘Solidaritatea’ Trade Union, which represents the employees of the Mintia power plant, organised a protest against the closure. The civil society also protested the closure as Mintia was the main producer of thermal and electrical energy in Hunedoara County.
CEH had been in insolvency proceedings from January until May 2016, but the Alba Iulia Appeal Court ordered a refile at Hunedoara Court. Currently, CEH has debts of over €333 million, of which €300 million are to the state. The Board of Directors elaborated the redundancy plan in 2016. The Ministry of Energy subsequently approved the plan which included the closure of the Mintia power plant.