Serbia mining:The importance of “Kolubara mine basin” in the Serbian energy system

9. September 2013. / Mining

Mining Basin “Kolubara” is the largest company within the Serbia Power Utility Company and the leading coal producer in Serbia on whose open- pit mines it is produced about 30 million tons of lignite per year. About 52 percent of total electricity in Serbia is generated on the basis of the “Kolubara” lignite.

Most of the coal (about 90 percent) is used for electricity production in thermal power plant “Nikola Tesla” in Obrenovac, in thermal power plant “Kolubara” in Veliki Crljeni and thermal power plant “Morava” in Svilajnac. From the “Kolubara” coal it is produced about 20 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

Electricity in Serbia is still produced by burning lignite coal. The approved geological reserves of lignite are about 3.957.043.000 tons, while the potential geological reserves are about 500 million tons, which makes a total of 4.457.043.000 tons of coal. Balance reserves of lignite, including potential reserves (lignite on which Serbia could count in the electricity production) are 3.356.125.000 tons and are found in three coal basin: Kolubara, Kostolac and Kovin. Of these three, the “Kolubara” basin has the largest reserves.

When it comes to the electricity production from coal, the key term is supply security. This is one of the most important items of energy politics of all countries around the world. Regardless the development level of the country, the energy sector is still one of the key branches for economic and national progress. Non-renewable energy sources in the world are dispended and we have to face with that. Reserves of oil, natural gas and coal are limited.

The energy sector, together with the environment protection with which it is inextricably linked, is recognized as the crucial issue of global sustainable development. Sustainable coal exploration and sustainable coal use are important strategic issues. Coal industry is guarantee of reliable raw materials and ensures long term security of energy supply. The coal value as a world resource continues to grow. Competition and environmental requirements are the main routers of the mining sector development.

Environmental improvement project in the “Kolubara” Mining Basin

The project has the technological, environmental and social importance. This project realization enables that energy supply in Serbia would be environmentally enhanced, reliable and efficient, which has the positive effect on economic growth, but also on the environmental protection and climate changes, as well as on the improvement of the living conditions of the local population. Environmental improvement project in the MB “Kolubara, has a goal of ensuring a safe and endless coal supplies and rational management by natural resources, with a corresponding reduction of atmospheric pollution in the power plants that use coal from MB “Kolubara”. The project implementation provides the use of equable lignite quality (the use of homogenization) which is mined in MB “Kolubara”, what allows the efficiency increase in the thermal power plant “Nikola Tesla” and “Morava”.

Based on all above mentioned, we can conclude that the importance of MB “Kolubara” is huge for Serbia. “Kolubara” makes the energy system stable, in the way that from “Kolubara” lignite it is produced about 52 percent of electricity in Serbia. This is certainly the most important information, but on what need to be pay attention are coal reserves. Experts from this area warn that the coal is non-renewable energy source and must be rationally exploited, together with reducing the environment impacts, so that we could count on the “Kolubara” coal reserves also in the future.

Source; RBK

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