Serbia: Energy instability crisis ahead for winter 2014

, News Serbia Energy

Kolubara mining basin, from which the coal for production of more than 50 percent of electricity in Serbia is drawn, still is under water and therefore half of the ore is excavated currentlyfrom it.

Normalization is expected only for 18 months. Experts predict that the country is sliding into energy instability and seeelectricity import as inevitable.

The water is partially withdrawnfrom only one of the four coal basins. Workers have come to the machine that mines, and the damage is huge. In the Management of Mine said miningwould start here in mid-August.

Miodrag Rankovic, president of the Union of MB Kolubara, said: “The problem comes in the fall and winter. When the higher electricity consumption starts, it will not be enough the Kolubara coal”.

Nearly90.000 tons of coalnormallyisexcavated per day from all the open pit mines of Kolubara. Today it is 45.000, which is half as much as usual.

“I think we will enter into the winter with more than 65.000 tons. At this point I cannot say exactly with which production, but mostly I think we will have well beyond those 65.000 tons of production before winter, and to about 80 or even 85 percent” , said Milorad Grcic, Director of MB Kolubara.

The open pit mine was flooded in the May floods when it was created the second largest artificial lake in Serbia, with the depth of 60 meters and a surface area of seven kilometers.

“How much electricity Serbiawill import for the upcoming winter season dependsin many ways on the speed of water withdrawing from the Kolubara mines. As the economic experts predict now it will be imported in the amount of 150 MEUR, which is almost twice more than usual”, reports Al Jazeera reporter Djordje Kostic.

“Theywill certainly import a larger amount, this lack of coal, if it persists in winter. He suggests that it is necessary to introduce an additional 15 to 20 percent of the electricity”, says economist Aleksandar Kovacevic.

70 percent of the electricity in Serbia is produced from coal. In the Electric Power Industry of Serbia do not say how much moneywill need this year to import electricity.

“At this moment the electricityprice is the lowest. We have started actively to import electricity and try to prepare warehousefor every ton of extractedcoal, in order to enterthe winter periodwith some normal stocks”, said Aleksandar Obradovic, EPS acting director.

Although ithas been more than a month of flooding, only this week EPS has approved the Kolubara basin to announce a tender for the procurement of large pumps in order to withdrawn water as soon as possible.