Serbia, Energy Ministry files lawsuit against former EPS Director

, News Serbia Energy

On 20 December 2021, the Ministry of Mining and Energy filed a lawsuit with the Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime against the then acting Director of state-owned power utility EPS Milorad Grcic because while performing his function he endangered energy and state security and caused damage of more than 500 million euros, which endangered the budget of Serbia.

The lawsuit was filed due to a well-founded suspicion that in the period from 19 October to 12 December 2021, Grcic acted unscrupulously in the performance of his duties by exploiting his official position and exceeding the limit of his official authority, as well as violating the law or other regulations.

The lawsuit states that by falsely presenting himself to the President of Serbia, the Government of Serbia and the Ministry of Mining and Energy, Grcic spoke positively about the readiness of capacities, claiming that all production capacities, except the one under repair TENT unit B1, are prepared for the upcoming winter season. Also, that the necessary quantities of coal of satisfactory quality have been provided, and that the production of electricity will be sufficient for covering the demand during winter and that all open pit mines at Kolubara basin completed planned repairs, so that coal production in the winter months can be carried out smoothly.

Also, during the visit of Serbian President to TENT B on 11 November 2021, the acting Director of EPS informed those present that there were 1.5 million tons of coal of acceptable quality in stock, which guaranteed that the system was ready for the coming winter and that its operation would be reliable, as well as that there would be no need for additional electricity imports.

This later proved to be untrue, because, contrary to what was reported, the incident which occurred on 12 December 2021 when all TENT units (except B2 and A3) failed, showed that the causes of the problem were insufficient quantities of coal, poor quality of that coal and unacceptably mixed coal with muddy soil, which led to congestion of supply channels, coal-fired boilers, as well as the operation of an unbalanced turbine on the newly repaired TENT B1 unit.

According to the Ministry, incorrect reporting mis- led and thus directly endangered energy security, which resulted in forced imports of electricity and fuel oil at extremely high prices, in order to maintain the supply of electricity.

Milorad Grcic resigned as Acting Director of EPS on 12 January 2022. In early March, the Government appointed Miroslav Tomasevic as the new Acting Director of EPS.

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