Serbia: Mining Basin Kolubara floods damage of 100MEUR

19. May 2014. / News Serbia Energy

The damage from the flood in Kolubara mines is estimated to at 100 million EUR minimum.
Water turned Kolubara mines into lakes. Each of the four mines is flooded, two of them completely. In the biggest OPM Tamnava – West Field, even 10 excavators are flooded and six of them are completely under water.Mining Basin Kolubara produces 70% of Serbia lignite which is used in thermal power plants TENT producing more than 50% of Serbian electricity.

At some places, water is as deep as 60 meters. The miners cannot believe what happened to them. They say that they get help from the workers of the entire EPS system and that they have forgotten about each other’s functions.
“We have good organization here; there are no bosses, directors nor trade unions here. All of us have the same task, we are trying to save our workplaces, future generations and entire Serbia”, Said Milovan Djordjević, the president of EPS workers’ trade union.

Djordjević warns that the energy situation is going to be very difficult.
The biggest concern now is the river Kolubara which changed its flow and keeps flooding the mines. The first task is to bring the river back to its riverbed, so the workers have been making the embankments, for two days now, in order to prevent the inflow of water to the mines.

“This is very important to us because of the works that have to be done in the OPM Tamnava West Field. The water completely followed its new riverbed and went into the OPM Tamnava West Field”, said Mihailo Petrović, the deputy director of MB Kolubara.
“We need a huge capacity pumps to try to drain these mines, Veliki Crljeni and Tamnava West Field”, said Petrović.
In addition to the pumps, what is necessary is the drinking water. After the last night’s appeal, the bottled water is coming from all directions. It is difficult to get to the mines since there is mud on the roads, water is still there and the landslides are large. A part of the railway which transports the coal to the Thermal Power Plants in Obrenovac, was also damaged.
“Our heart is torn when we see the excavators under the water. The most important thing is to enable the Field D as soon as possible, to start the operation and move the production towards the TPPNT”, said Miodrag Ranković, president of Kolubara workers’ trade union.
In this situation it is hard to estimate when we will be able to excavate the coal again.
How important is to recover the mines as soon as possible, shows the fact that every second bulb in Serbia illuminates thanks to the combustion of Kolubara’s lignite, because Thermal Power Plants Nikola Tesla cannot operate without the production in Kolubara.
Source; RBK Kolubara

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