Serbia: Project for construction of coal-fired plant Kolubara B questionable

, News Serbia Energy

At the construction site of coal-fired thermal power plant Kolubara B, Union of the Kolubara mining basin has organized a protest of workers. According to the Union, the Ministry of Mining and Energy sent a note to state-owned power utility EPS, in which it requires that all the activities on the construction of the plant should be stopped. Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic denied that any of the existing thermal power plants will be shut down, adding that Serbia needs to consider whether to build some new capacities or not. Minister Mihajlovic was adamant that the closure of coal-fired power plants is not planned and no one will lose their job. She reminded that the same was speculated when the division of activities was being carried out at EPS, where no one lost their job either. However, Serbia needs to consider whether to build some new coal-based capacities or not. Green Serbia does not entail the closure of thermal power plants or the loss of jobs at EPS, it entails working together to raise the quality of the environment and to ensure, in the energy transition process, that there’s enough energy and that thermal power plants are working along with the construction of desulfurization facilities and everything else needed for environmental protection.

Last March, state-owned power utility EPS signed a preliminary agreement on cooperation with Chinese company PowerChina on the construction of coal-fired thermal power plant Kolubara B. The preliminary agreement was signed by Acting Director of EPS Milorad Grcic and Director of PowerChina Yang Bo. The construction of this energy facility was originally planned in 1990s and now EPS plans to complete the 350 MW project in cooperation with Chinese company. The construction of a new unit will ensure Serbia’s sustainable industrial development and will be built in line with the latest EU environmental standards. The new unit represents replacement capacity for ageing TPP Morava and TPP Kolubara A. The construction of TPP Kolubara B, located in the town of Veliki Crljeni, started in the early 1990s, but shortly after was abandoned due to the break-up of Yugoslavia. In June 2011, EPS signed a preliminary agreement with Italian Edison to set up a joint venture for the construction of the plant and in 2012 the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) expressed interest in financing the project. However, in September 2013, the EBRD said it is no longer interested in financing the plant, due to its policy for limiting lending for coal-fired power plants construction projects and in 2014 the project was again abandoned.