Serbia mining: Procurement of new equipment in lignite coal mines,Sandwick, Kopex and Krupp with dominant market position in new technology supply

10. April 2015. / Mining

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Kolubara, Largest lignite mine in Serbia, needs to invest 700-800 million EUR for opening of new, Radljevo field, in order to cover lignite demand of new capacities (TPP Kolubara B and unit 3 in TPP Nikola Tesla B).

Before opening of Radljevo field, fields C and G should be opened in order to provide sufficient amounts of lignite for existing and future TPPs. Annual investments should reach some 150 million EUR during next 7-8 years, which should be one of the largest investment cycles in company’s history. In mid November 2010, Kolubara started production on field E, in which reserves are estimated at 350 million tons. During the first phase, the company will be able to produce 100 million tons from this field.

In August 2012, Kolubara coalmine confirmed that European Investment Bank (EIB) and German KfW Bank had approved overall 150 million euros loan to the company. The loan will be used for opening of three new open pit mines, which should enable stable electricity production in Serbia in incoming decades, the company said. The loan will also be used for purchase of coal excavators, belt transporters, conveyors and for coal homogenization.

In April 2013, Kolubara Coalmine and Swedish Sandvik signed the 14.4 million euros contract within the project “Improvement of the environment in Kolubara coalmine”. The contract refers to the purchase of system of coal excavator-belt conveyor-depositor. The project includes the introduction of system for management of coal quality and homogenization in the western part of the coalmine. The latest contract was the third one within the project, which overall worth is 181 million euros. Funds for the project are being provided by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD, 80 million euros), German KfW Bank (65 million euros), the government of Germany (9 million euros) and EPS itself (27 million euros).Earlier, EPS has signed contract with Krupp and Kopex for the purchase of coal excavators and belt transporter. Overall worth of these contracts is 60 million euros.

The annual savings are estimated at 26 million euros, while the coal consumption would be reduced by 1 million tons. The emissions of CO2, SO2 and NO2 should be reduced by 3 %, while the amounts of coal ash and slug would be reduced by 885,000 tons per year. The project should be implemented in period of three and half years.

Kolubara mine produces 70% of lignite for TPPs that produce over 50% of electricity in the country (TPPs Nikola Tesla A and B, TPP Kolubara and TPP Morava). This mine will also supply future TPPs Kolubara B and unit 3 in TPP Nikola Tesla B. Annual lignite production of TPP Kolubara is between 25-30 million tons of lignite, while historical maximum was achieved in 2011, 31 million tons.

Lignite reserves in mine Drmno (Kostolac mining complex) are sufficient for electricity production of existing units and the new unit of TPP Kostolac till 2060. In this moment, lignite mine Drmno produces some 9 million tons of lignite, where some 7.5-8.5 million tons are being spent by nearby TPPs Kostolac A and B. Exploration works on new field Moravica are in final phase. According to initial estimations, the lignite reserves of the field stand at some 510 million tons.

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