Serbia: EPS will have to shut down 8 coal-fired units by 2024

, News Serbia Energy

According to the Decree on establishing the Program for the Implementation of the Energy Sector Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia for the period by 2015 with projections by 2030, Serbian state-owned power utility EPS will have to shut down eight coal-fired units at its thermal power plants, which are not in compliance with environmental requirements set by the EU’s Large Combustion Plants Directive, by 2024.

Electricity production from these eight units will be compensated by the construction of eight wind farms, combined heat and power plant Pancevo and coal-fired unit B3 at TPP Kostolac. The shut down of eight units is necessary due to their old age and need to meet the requirement on Serbian regulations on limit values for emissions of air pollutants from combustion plants and the application of the limited operation mechanism of the plants (opt-out mechanism).

The new regulations on the limit values of air pollutants are a part of the National Emission Reduction Plan which is endorsed after the Energy Community adopted Decisions regarding implementation of the Large Combustion Plants Directive (LCPD) and Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). In December 2015 Serbia submitted to the Ennergy Community a preliminary National Emission Reduction Plan and a preliminary list of plants using the opt-out mechanism. This mechanism implies limited operation of the plant – 20,000 hours between 2018 and 2023.

Coal-fired and combined heat and power plants in Serbia are completely controlled by EPS. In overall electricity generation structure, the share of coalfired plants is around 70 % and the share of hydropower plants around 29 %.

Earlier in 2017, the analysis by CEE Bankwatch Network has shown that almost none of the new power plants that are planned to be built in Western Balkans will not meet the latest standards against air pollution approved by the European Union.

According to the analysis, five out of eight coalfired TPPs planned in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro, including the newly commissioned TPP Stanari, will not meet the EU standards. The projects in question are TPP Banovici and new units at TPP Tuzla and TPP Ugljevik in BiH, the new B3 unit at TPP Kostolac in Serbia, TPP Kosova e Re in Kosovo, second unit at TPP Pljevlja in Montenegro and the reconstruction of TPP Oslomej in Macedonia. Noncompliance with these standards could pose a serious obstacle for the EU accession of the Balkan countries.