There are currently 14 operating plants of 14 megawatts capacity in NIS that generate electricity and thermal energy. NIS is the leader among oil companies in the region when it comes to electricity production, and it is planned for the company to have 250 to 300 megawatts of capacity for electricity generation in three years.
The simultaneous production of electricity and thermal energy, so-called cogeneration is becoming increasingly common in the Serbian energy sector for the past few years. The Oil Industry of Serbia has followed this trend since 2013 and now it has 14 power plants of 14 megawatts capacity producing electricity and thermal energy, with two major ongoing projects that in three years might position NIS as a significant energy producer with about 300 MW of installed capacity.
Presenting mini-cogeneration plants at the 12th Energy Fair, Igor Korac, Deputy Director of NIS Energy Block said that the motive for entering this field was increasing economic efficiency, but also a significant impact on the environment.
“A great deal of gas was being burnt on torches in the oil fields and it was all released into the atmosphere. It is a lower quality gas, with a lot of carbon dioxide and other inert gases, which could not go into distribution. For example, in 2013 we have spent around one million cubic meters of gas for cogeneration, and 30 million cubic meters this year. All that gas would have gone into the atmosphere, and thus we have achieved a significant environmental effect and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. It is a natural gas with only 35 percent of methane, and the rest is carbon dioxide. We also have a gas from Sirakova near Pozarevac, where we constructed the first cogeneration plant in 2013, that has a good quality, but there is no gas infrastructure. The nearest gas pipeline is 30 kilometers away and there is no economic feasibility for the construction of gas pipeline and compressor station. This is the reason why there are four cogeneration plants of three megawatts capacity,” explained Korac.
However, NIS is now entering a large cogeneration projects, primarily in Novo Milosevo in cooperation with MSK Kikinda and Tehnogas, where the gas is of poor quality – only 25 percent of methane, 65 percent of carbon dioxide and 10 percent of other inert gases. According to him, it will be a test for the producers: who can produce a machine that will operate on such a low level of methane. This plant will have a capacity of 9.8 megawatts.
The largest greenfield investment of NIS should be the construction of combined thermal plant power plant – heating plant in Pancevo (CHP Pancevo) that will deliver heat energy to Pancevo Oil Refinery, as well as electricity, whose surplus will be sold on the open market. This power plant will have 140 megawatts capacity and it is an investment worth EUR 140 million. As Korac pointed out, there is a possibility of extending the plant with additional turbine of 208 MW, if the agreement on delivery of heat and electrical energy with Petrohemija is reached.
“The fact that we have come from zero to almost 15 megawatts in three years indicates that electricity generation is one of NIS strategic goals. From oil and gas company we wish to become the strongest energy company in the region. When it comes to electricity generation, we are now leading oil company in the region. In three years’ time, we will have 250 to 300 megawatts installed capacity, which is extraordinary taking into account a period of only five or six years, “concluded Korac.
From 14 cogeneration plants of NIS, company Tehnoxgrup built eight plants on turnkey basis. The director of the company Bogdan Pavlovic said that the cogeneration is a trend in all oil and gas companies worldwide.
“NIS is in a specific position relative to other companies, since it has a different cost of energy due to its products and by-products. There are many possibilities in this area, and in particular, I expect development in the field of bio-energy, i.e. biogas production from organic raw materials, “said Pavlovic.
School of Mechanical Engineering in Pancevo is the first high school that constructed its own 2 kW wind generator with the help of NIS two years ago, and thus managed to make a totally energy independent classroom. As a high school teacher Vladimir Bozickovic explained, NIS provided a 3D printer, which was used for the production of wind turbine parts. Wind turbine was designed by students of the school, with the help of experts from NIS.
“We wanted to influence the awareness among students and citizens about the importance of renewable energy. We made a microwave oven at school, solar panels and wind generator. In addition, we wanted to show how difficult it is to produce energy, how long, for example, we need to pedals the bicycle in order to generate electricity, or to make tea or charge a cell phone, and therefore to be more aware of energy consumption, “said Bozickovic adding that energy efficiency is a relatively new thing in Serbian schools.
He reminded that very few schools in Serbia are built by the standards of energy efficiency and that economy should support schools, as companies are in position to do so.