Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic stressed that EPS is a foundation of Serbia’s energy security. Minister Mihajlovic said that the goal of restructuring of state-owned power utility EPS is to become a strong company, an important regional player and there are no talks on the privatization of the company or employees’ layoffs.
The separation of activities related to electricity generation and electricity distribution is in line with the Energy Law and the obligations taken under the Energy Community Treaty. She added that it will also significantly improve efficiency, because under the current model of network operation, technical losses amount to over 250 million euros per year.
She said that Serbia’s energy sector was dormant for too long, the last generation capacity was commissioned more than 30 years ago, criticizing slow implementation of ongoing projects, such as the construction of TPP Kostolac B3. Namely, the agreement on the construction of the third unit at TPP Kostolac B was signed with Chinese CMEC in 2013, and the construction actually started five years after the signing – in 2018.
On the other hand, Serbia and EPS will have to deal much more with the environmental protection and base their future development in energy sector primarily on increasing energy efficiency, construction large hydropower plants and greater use of renewable energy sources, primarily biomass, but also geothermal, solar and wind.
She said that it is possible, since Serbia will gradually phase-out electricity generation based on coal, especially low quality lignite, that the country will invest in gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants.