Serbia exclusive: Bidders for new TPP Kolubara 2 and TENT B3, China vs others, report

7. April 2015. / News Serbia Energy

The development of electric power system is a key link in the development of the entire electric power system of Serbia and about nine billion EUR should be invested in this area by 2030th, according to the new Energy Development Strategy Draft. It was estimated that the demands for electricity until 2025 would increase by 10.5 percent, and 16.6 percent by 2030th.

No power plant was built in Serbia more than twenty years. Electricity production in Serbia meets the domestic market needs, but generally is not sufficient for consumption during average winter, so the electricity must be imported. The potential for the new thermal power plants construction exists, but it is certain that there is not enough money.

Investment in the construction of new thermal capacities would be of great importance, as it would solve the problem of kilowatts shortage produced in the country, and at the same time the electricity export would be possible in the Balkan region. To note, coal in Serbia contributes in electricity production even with 64.1 %, hydro energy with 34.5 %, and natural gas with 1.4 %. The situation is such that the country energy stability depends on coal. Coal has a certain future. Provided that it meets all strict measures for the environment protection, the new technologies modernization and introduction, coal will remain the leading energy source, regardless of all “European histories” on renewable energy.

Decisions adopted at the recently held Ministerial Council of the Energy Community of Southeast Europe provide an opportunity for the realization of the long-announced investments in the energy sector, such as thermal power plant “Kolubara B” and”Nikola Tesla B3″. The projects list of interest to the Energy Community, which was adopted at a meeting held in Belgrade in October last year, there are 13 Serbian projects of total value of 15.9 billion EUR. One of the most important projects for the Serbian electric power system is of the TPP “Kolubara B” completion, whose value is 1.8 billion EUR.

Earlier this year, the Chinese Energy Corporation Sinomah Sieniisi-Sieniitisi, opened its representative office in Europe in Serbia, in Ub. On this occasion, the regional director of mentioned company emphasized its interest in investing in major energy projects in the Serbian electric power industry, such as TPP “Kolubara B”, the opening of coal mine “Radljevo “, HPP “Djerdap” 3 as well as in small hydropower plants. The Chinese national corporation is willing to invest 1.3 billion EUR in “Kolubara B” and “Radljevo”.

But, apparently, the Chinese will not have the opportunity to cooperate with EPS, because, as we found out, EPS continues cooperation with the Italian company “Edison” in the project TPP “Kolubara B” and there are no negotiations with other companies. Cooperation between the Italian company and EPS lasts from June 2011, and the plan is to build the power plant by 2017. While the Chinese starts to build a new unit in TPP “Kostolac B”, “Kolubara B” will have to wait, because for the last two and a half years, nothing concrete has been done. Coal reserves from OPM “Radljevo” are planned for supply of new thermal capacity TPP “Kolubara B” in Kalenic, which is planned to be opened in 2014. It is expected to be excavated about 450 million tons of coal from this deposit and that these tons of coal would provide a secure supply of future thermal units “Kolubara B” and unit B3 in TENT.

Work on TPP “Kolubara B ” construction were started yet in 1988, but were halted after more than three years due to the introduction of economic sanctions  to the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia . Thermal power plant capacity is 750 MW and it will provide supply security to Serbia and entire Balkan.

Foreign partners’ investments are essential for the development of thermal capacities and there is a logical question, why is start, that building continuation of TPP “Kolubara B” postponed from year to year if there is agreed cooperation. Is it just the economic crisis that has temporarily suspended the investment of large energy companies? Or 2014, however, will be a year of investment in the energy sector?

Surely, reliably and quality energy supply is a prerequisite for economic and social development, as stated in the Energy Strategy Draft, which should be adopted soon in the Republic of Serbia. As the priority actions in the Strategy are listed reconstruction of existing thermal power plants and new coal-fired thermal power plants, with power of 700 MW until 2025.

The Russians were also interested in investing of “Kolubara B” and “Nikola Tesla B3” construction. They visited the sites for the construction of these energy capacities in 2008th and became familiar with the most important facts in relation to this project, but this story was not realized. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is no longer considering the possibility of investing in the project, because there has not been any progress in its development for more than two and a half years.

Source; Serbia Energy

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