Serbia mining: Power utility EPS coal mining future supply to TPPs, Slobodan Mitrović, Executive for Mining

29. July 2015. / Mining

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The production, maintenance, planning, investment and safety at work will be vertically integrated in the new organizational unit for coal production.

The mining sector in power utility EPS “Electric Power Industry of Serbia” is the basic link in the realization of the energy balance of the country. The miners carry a large burden of the responsibility for the sustainability of the system operation, said Mr. Slobodan Mitrović, ecexutive director for coal production in an interview for corporate magazine Energija.

What are the biggest challenge facing miners in the coming period?

In the past year, we were faced with an unprecedented natural disasters and flood that made the most damage to the coal mines and significantly disrupted the continuity of production. With the great commitment of all employees, we have managed to deal with this challenge and we can serve as an example to the world. We anticipate a complete recovery from the floods consequences and normalization of coal production at the existing mines, as well as the provision of preconditions for opening the new ones. In the future, it is necessary to put the emphasis on the increasing of the efficiency, productivity and profitability of mining production, in order to respond to requests from the open electricity market with the quantity and quality, primarily in the region, while respecting strict environmental protection measures.

In what way is the integration of the operations of coal production planned from the former PE in now unique function at the level of EPS group?

The activities of production, maintenance, planning, investment, safety at work and environmental protection will be vertically integrated due to more efficient functioning in the new organizational unit for coal production. There will be no more than five levels of management at each of the activities. The first phase will form a new organization structure in which all the existing organizational units will be transferred, and the second phase will rationalize the organizational units. This is an extremely demanding job and requires a realization phase. In the phase of rationalization and increasing the productivity of the production process, it is necessary to optimize the number of the employees with the active participation of the trade unions.

Does EPS have a future with the mining sector in the coming decades and why?

There is still a considerable discrepancy between the existing images of coal and the current performance and potential of coal. Coal industry should send a message to the general public that the coal can provide a sustainable bridge towards the future, with parallel activities undertaken to increase efficiency, introduction of modern technology, through better organization and improvement of environmental protection measures. Despite all the challenges, the coal will remain the primary energy source of Serbia for electricity production. This is the only way for Serbia to preserve the achieved level of energy independence. The increased production from the renewable energy sources in the coming period will be given the strong boost, but due to the limited resources, it will only slightly reduce the high prevalence of coal as a base energy resource. On the other hand, for the medium developed countries, which include Serbia, high incidence of the electricity production form coal is significant, since it employs a large number of people as well as a large number of small enterprises. In the long term, the coal production will depend on the scientific and the technological development in the energy sector in the world, so Serbia will share the fate of the countries where the coal is the main energy source. Luckily these are the most developed countries, China and the United States, where the science development is the most intensive.

Transfer of experience

Is it possible to draw parallels between “Kolubara” and “Kostolac”, how similar are the processes, is there a lot of work waiting?

From 1st July this former PE have the status of a branch. In the second step, it is envisaged that all the functions in the both branches combine, with which the rational use of the existing potentials and resources will be higher. The goal is to rapidly transfer the successful experiences and processes form one mining basin to another. The processes are very similar and differ only in parts conditioned by natural factors such as the proximity of the river and different geological deposit conditions. The scope of work is extremely large and requires maximum engagement of experts in both mining basin. , transmits Serbia-energy.eu

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