Serbia, Government recently approved EPS to import 4 million tons of coal for its use

, News Serbia Energy

The Serbian Government recently approved state- owned power utility EPS to import 4 million tons of coal for its use, as it is estimated that the utility will lack that amount of coal by the end of 2023.

EPS confirmed that it is already in talks with the companies from the Republic of Srpska, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Romania over the coal supply. In April, EPS already agreed the supply of 300,000 tons of coal in 2022 from Montenegrin Pljevlja coalmine.

EPS claims that domestic coal reserves of satisfactory quality for the operation of its thermal power plants in open pit mines are sufficient for long-term operation for about 50 years. However, its mines are behind with the excavation of the overburden and it would take time to reach quality coal. Thus, EPS is forced to import coal for the upcoming winter season. This would be the first time since the floods in 2014 that EPS has to import coal from abroad. In the first three months of 2015, EPS imported 325,000 tons of coal from Romania for the operation of TPP Nikola Tesla A.

EPS said that in order to ensure sufficient quantities of coal significant investments are needed, for the procurement of new mining equipment and for the opening of new open pit mines – Field E and Radiljevo. Field E is a replacement for Field D, which ended its exploitation in early 2021, while Radljevo is the new open pit. They claim that with sufficient funding, coal production could be again raised to the level required for the operation of all Serbia’s TPPs.

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