Serbia: Construction of new TPP Kostolac B3 kicks off with Chinese lead

, News Serbia Energy

The contract with the Chinese will be activated on January 4, 2016 which will be the official start of the construction of “Kostolac B3”. Domestic companies will be able to bid for the construction of the new energy block, the first after 30 years which should bring 350 MW and our side will make sure to have the largest possible share of domestic companies bidding. Construction work starts in the next few months.

Dragan Jovanović, executive director of EPS and former head of “Kostolac”, announced this and explained that this winter Serbia will have stabile power supply season because thermal power plants and “Kolubara” have record production. What could cause problems and make us have a potential import of kilowatts in the height of winter are – low production in the hydro power plants and sudden gust of very cold air.

When will the construction of the block B3 in “Kostolac” start?

-Officially on January 4, the contract with the Chinese company CMEC, which will be building the block, becomes effective. We have already started the preparatory work on the construction site, and once the contract becomes effective the Chinese will start organizing the activities regarding the documentation and construction preparation. Everything will be developing really fast so we expect the cornerstone to be laid in spring.

How much will Serbian companies participate in this work?

-In the first phase, which is coming to an end, we had a deal that Serbian production companies and experts get 47 percent of the work. The second phase, the phase of the construction of B3, does not provide such a deal, but we will try hard to have our companies to get as much work as possible. This is a big chance for them since we have not built a thermal power plant in two and a half decades.

Also workers will be engaged in the construction, and after the block is finished we will employ several hundreds of people.

Will we have to buy power this winter?

-Thermal power plants are working full strength, and on December 19, they have achieved record production since the start of operation – they produced 93.027 megawatt hours of energy. What is not good is the work of hydro power plants, because the water levels of the biggest rivers have been low for several months, especially Drina and Danube. The loss from water energy is now overcome by coal production but the question is how long would coal production be able to keep up with the needs.

The temperature levels are favorable this year, but the consumption is already huge – it surpasses 110 million kilowatt hours per day.

Which thermal power plants will Serbia have to shut down, due to EU directives?

-Serbia is operating according to two directives – the one on large furnaces and the one on industrial furnaces. The first one provides for the reduced emission of all pollutants after 2023, and by the end of 2017 we will have to obtain new finance sources. Total investment for all these projects will be 700 million euro. The other task is to reduce the working hours of old blocks, or to operate in opt-out regime. Other blocks that have less than 100 MW will be working according to their age, technical possibilities and tech-economical effects, transmits