Serbia: Fight for winter electricity supply stability after floods

, News Serbia Energy

The Serbian electric power industry has suffered great damage during the floods, and government’s goal is to provide the stable electricity supply by winter. Serbian thermal power plants which are producing electricity 70% from the lignite coal fields of Kolubara mines are endangered by huge water lakes at Kolubara mine fields. By the end of the year a new law on energy ought to be adopted in Serbia, aiming to harmonize the national legislation with the European standards, and also in work are the changes to the tariff system in that field.

The Serbian Government is working intensively on providing enough fuels for the winter, which is a difficult but achievable task, said state secretary in the ministry of energy Mirjana Filipovic. She has emphasized that the government has not officially come up with the suggestions for the rational consumption, but it may be expected soon. Also, the new bill on energy might be in the parliamentary procedure before the end of the year, she announced. According to Filipovic, the changes to the tariff system are currently presented in three options – changing the tariff system, changing the price of electricity or the combination of the two. She added that the World Bank would help Serbia in that process and present the experience of other countries. One of the central tasks of the new bill on energy is the implementation of the Third energy package, which is the directive of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe about the unified regulations in the internal European electricity market. That act should make a better climate and simpler procedures for investments in the energy supply, as well as remove the observed shortcomings in the production, distribution and supply of the heat energy, but also in forming the prices, Filipovic explained.

Without the electricity production there is no energy stability, but the floods have disturbed the work of the power plants, which must be revitalized, and the new ones built, said director of the “Kostolac” power plant Dragan Jovanovic. He has emphasized that the electric power industry if the biggest enterprise in the country, and Serbia is one of the leading European countries in exploitation of coal and lignite. That is the energy power of the state and it could bring necessary savings, because even now 75% of the electricity in Serbia comes from the coal. Jovanovic warns, however, that modernization is necessary, because unlike the European ones, the Serbian plants are working at their maximum capacity, which has its downsides. According to him, the period of investments in modernization and construction of new plants should follow, and the only one currently certain is the building of the facility “Kostolac B3”, of 350 Megawatts, Jovanovic says.

It was also announced at the gathering that the Srbijagas company will fully use the capacity of the storage “Bantski Dvor” by August 15, which means that during the winter Serbia could avoid the crisis in the supply of this fuel.