According to CEE Bankwatch, the results of an independent measurement of air quality in Stanari as of July this year show alarming hourly values of harmful dust particles in the air coming from close proximity to mines and thermal power plant.
Thermal power plant Stanari is owned by local subsidiary of UK-based EFT Investments. The plant is located near the Stanari coal mine, which is located approximately 70 kilometres east of Banja Luka in the Republic of Srpska (RS). It is the first privately-owned power plant in the Western Balkan region. Originally the project was planned and permitted to be 420 MW, using supercritical technology, but was later changed to 300 MW and lower efficiency subcritical technology. No updated EIA was carried out based on the new plans.
The monitoring was performed between 4 July and 1 August 2019. The chosen location was at a similar distance from the power plant and from the mine in order to try and evaluate how they are impacting air quality separately. There were not many breaches of the PM10 and PM2.5 limit values – the national (and EU) 24-hour limit for PM10 was exceeded twice and so was the WHO recommended 24-hour limit for PM2.5 – but shortterm dust pollution peaks were alarming.
While there are no requirements regarding the short-term emission values in the national or EU legislation, having sources of pollution that can contribute significant amounts of dust in a very short timespan can be especially deadly during the winter months when air quality is aggravated by other sources and when pollution is trapped in the valley due to temperature inversion.
TPP Stanari recorded a profit of some 39 million euros in 2018. The plant continued with positive financial results, even better compared to 2017, which was the first full year of its operation, when net profit amounted to 18 million euros. Total revenues in 2018 increased by 2.9 million euros and amounted to 100.5 million euros. The company also increased the number of employees in 2018, from 813 to 855.