BiH: New transport system for overburden put into operation in thermal power plant and coal mine Stanari

, SEE Energy News

In parallel with the reconstruction and stabilization of the mine, EFT has implemented a number of activities in order to increase the capacity of the mine to 2.5 million tons of coal a year, which is the quantity necessary for the operation of Stanari thermal power plant.

Yesterday, in Stanari thermal power plant and lignite mine in Bosnia and Herzegovina, owned by EFT a new transport system for overburden (layers of earth above the coal) was put into operation and it can operate continuously in all weather conditions.

The transport system is 2,600 meters long, with a capacity of 7,200 cubic meters per hour, and speed of 5.3 meters per second. What is unusual is that the EFT engineers have designed and assembled themselves the whole system.

In Stanari coal mine, on every ton of coal five cubic meters of overburden must be removed. In order to transport overburden to the planned location, EFT uses ECS system (Excavator, Conveyor, Spreader) and 40 tons bearing capacity trucks. The belt conveyor is the system of operating units, interconnections and reverse units with a rubber belt 1.6 meters wide and 5,200 meters long. In 2016, the mine in Stanari has excavated more than seven million cubic meters of overburden.

Commissioning was attended by the representatives of companies that share EFT common interest. These are companies from Germany, Stiebel-Getriebebau & Co. and RULMECA that have provided motors, gears, reels and drums, and representatives of company Continental in Serbia (Kolubara-Univerzal) that supplied rubber belts with steel cables and Company Ferrostil MONTI from Prnjavor that supplied complete metal products. Siemens, ABB and Schneider, leaders in the field of electronics and electrical engineering, have supplies electrical installations and equipment and the erection of complete equipment was carried out by the technical department of Stanari coal mine.


After considering a number of offers by world’s companies, EFT has decided to independently start drafting its new transport system by engaging its own expert staff. EFT believe they have created more advanced and better solution while identifying technical deficiencies with the use of new solutions for mechanical and electrical equipment. The investment value of the system was significantly lower than those offered in the tender.

The main advantage of this conveyor in relation to the existing are the ratio of conveyor capacity and weight of its equipment which is larger than on the existing conveyors used in open pit mines. The possibility of changing conveyor speed, depending on the capacity of the excavator achieves lower power consumption, reduces deterioration and maximum load. Due to these characteristics, this system is suitable not only for transporting overburden, but also for the transportation of coal.

EFT managed to complete the whole documentation until February 2016, starting from the basic engineering, and to implement the project in cooperation with the well-known European companies that produce components for conveyors. Taking into account that the applied technology is based on many years’ experience of EFT engineers, and that the mine alone developed a complete system, the process of project protection – a patent is underway. EFT is planning to offer to mines in South East European countries a cooperation in the development and assembly of the conveyors whereby the emphasis would be on the use of resources from the neighborhood, as is the case in Stanari coal mine.

Otherwise, the exploitation of coal at this location began in 1948 and due to war in Bosnia in 2000 it was practically stopped. EFT has taken over and managed the mine since May 2005, and in addition, it built a thermal power plant of 300 MW in 2016. In parallel with the reconstruction and stabilization of the mine, EFT has implemented a number of activities in order to increase the capacity of the mine to 2.5 million tons of coal a year, which is the quantity necessary for the operation of Stanari thermal power plant (which was put into operation last year and built by EFT) and supply the local heating plant Doboj and other institutions that depend on the Stanari coal. Proven coal reserves in Stanari are about 108 million tons. EFT has a long-term plan for the development of mining-energy complex Stanari and in accordance with this strategy the company implemented a series of measures aimed at improving the production and paved the way for expanding the scope of coal exploitation that will be sufficient for the smooth functioning and operation of mining – energy complex over the next 40 years.

Successful environmental protection

EFT is proud about the fact that their power plant Stanari represents the modern technical and technological concept of the plant with the most efficient methods of environmental protection. Maximum protection of water, air and the whole environment is one of the main goals of the company, and during the planning of TPP Stanari a great attention was paid to all these factors. The implementation of EU Directives (although the Bosnian regulation was much more liberal) during the planning and design proved to be a very good method of promoting the project as a model by which it and other thermal power plants should be looked upon. Stanari thermal power plant is designed and it operates according to EU law/directive from 2001 (LCPD), which stipulates a certain amount of emissions that can be emitted into the air. The Bosnian law is harmonized with this directive and TPP Stanari is the first power plant that emits a smaller amount of particles from its stack than the prescribed amounts. At the same time the more stringent Directive (IED) is just being implemented in Europe, but with their test performance and quality of coal, EFT can adjust when IED enters into force in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a signatory of the Energy Community agreement, which prescribes environmental protection measures i.e. measures that each signatory country has to fulfill. Therefore, for Bosnia the adapting LCPD Directive is underway, or the decision of the authorities which plant will be modernized and which must be shut down because it is unable to meet the prescribed standards of emissions and other parameters of environmental protection. At the same time, the Energy Community represents a body that has the role of mediator in the misunderstanding of the state, the NGO sector and other stakeholders. During the construction of TPP Stanari, according to EFT, there was a case of misunderstanding by an NGO from Banja Luka. As the competent Ministry did not respond to their criticism there was a meeting with people from the Energy Community who rejected all accusations by this NGO.

Support for the local community

EFT continuously supports improving the quality of teaching in an elementary school in Stanari through grants for maintaining school facilities. So far, EFT Stanari reconstructed the roof of the elementary school, donated sports equipment for local school as well as computer equipment and each year organize the spring excursion for the students, autumn visit to the Book Fair, the collection of books to restore school library, rewarding students for outstanding success in all areas and teachers for their efforts and achievements. Every beginning of the school year in Stanari is followed by the sincere wishes for the success that EFT addresses to first graders and their parents by donating school bags. Each year significant funds are planned and allocated to help sports associations in the municipality. As a support to Serbian Cultural Society Lazarica, the company has donated musical instruments and organized visits to other cultural associations in the neighboring countries.

In order to make Stanari safer place to live, EFT works closely with the police station and allocates funds for the improvement of working conditions of this station. Thus, EFT has allocated significant funds to repair the roof and the external facade of the Police Station Stanari, donated fitness professional machine and computer equipment. Among other things, EFT has contributed to municipality of Stanari in terms of support during the construction of infrastructure, paving the roads, sidewalks, Centre of Culture etc. By organizing a number of activities to make the environment cleaner, EFT has made Stanari more healthier place to live.