The Provincial Secretariat for Urban Planning and Environmental Protection said that local company Energetski Kompleks has filed a request for deciding on the necessity of the environmental impact assessment study for the project of the exploitation of coal and overburden at Kovin.
The project is almost ten years old and it envisages the expansion of the coal excavation operations in Kovin municipality, where coal is already excavated from the riverbed of the Danube.
The average energy value of lignite excavated at Kovin is around 9,400 kJ/kg, and of the commercial coal, which is cleaned through underwater exploitation, is around 12,000 kJ/kg. The expected annual coal production is around three million tons.
The project initially involved the construction of a thermal power plant with power output of 700 MW, on the left bank of the Danube river near Kovin, some 70 kilometers from Belgrade. The project has been announced in 2013.
Kovin coalmine is unique in the world in terms of coal production, having in mind that coal is being excavated 40 meters under the level of the Danube river. The coalmine should be enlarged on the surface, where the TPP should be built. Estimated coal reserves in the area stands at 276 million tons, the official studies showed. In 2014, its coal production amounted to 180,000 tons.
One of the issue with this project is that the coalmine and the future TPP will be located near sources of fresh water, within the defensive belt between Kovin and the Danube river.