Serbia: Due to CO2 emission allowances TPP Kolubara B not profitable

, News Serbia Energy

Serbia will achieve energy security and will have enough electricity because it has enough potential for increasing its electricity generation, but it is important that the new capacities that are being built be sustainable and economically viable, said Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic. Minister Mihajlovic stressed that the main goal for Serbia is to have enough energy, for it to be produced in a sustainable and healthier way. The country will develop an action plan on the operation of its coal-fired thermal power plants by 2050, as other countries in Europe do, but it also must start building new capacities that use other energy sources in order for electricity production to be economically sustainable.

She noted that desulfurization plants will be built at the existing power plants, but that when it comes to new power plants, care must be taken as to what the real price of that electricity would be. According to her, entire income recorded by TPP Kolubara B would go to paying for CO2 emission allowances. These allowances now amount to 51 euros/ton, at the beginning of the year they were 35 euros, and by the end of the year they are expected to be 130 euros. If today is known that Serbia will have to pay those taxes on energy produced by the new thermal power plants, then the big question is whether it should build them at all.

Minister Mihajlovic reminded that the project for the construction of TPP Kolubara B was first launched 41 years ago, that about 400 million euros have been invested in its construction so far, but that that equipment has largely lost its value and is worth about 100 million euros today. If TPP Kolubara B was built five or ten years ago, that would not be a problem, but now it is a question of sustainability and cost-effectiveness of that thermal power plant. And for that reason, the Ministry did not give approval for its construction.

She added that it is important for state-owned power utility EPS to realize investments more efficiently, stating that the construction of TPP Kostolac B3 will last 10 years at current pace and that the construction of the wind farm in Kostolac began in 2016, with new technologies advancing more rapidly than the project’s development.

Earlier this week, Miners’ Union of Kolubara mining basin organized a protest against the Ministry’s decision to halt TPP Kolubara B construction. Head of the Union Miodrag Rankovic said that the miners will enter general strike unless the Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic is removed from her position, adding that she represents the interests of the lobby of electricity importers.