Serbia: The lack of electricity but without restrictions, claim EPS power utility management

27. June 2014. / News Serbia Energy

How much electricity will miss depends primarily on the speed that will stabilize the production in MB “Kolubara”. In the coming winter, the electricity production in Serbia could be one-third lower, due to difficult situation at the mines of MB “Kolubara” and the lack of coal, said the Director of Thermal Power Plant “Nikola Tesla”, Čedomir Ponoćko. He explained that between 40 and 45 thousand tons of coal per day is delivered from MB “Kolubara” to the TPPNT, which would not significantly affect the electricity production in the summer. However, when an increase of the electricity consumption comes with the temperature drop, the TPPNT will not be able to achieve the planned electricity production, and that is why the revision of EPS operation is going to be needed.

According to the expectations, in about a month, the lignite production in MB “Kolubara” will reach 65 thousand tons of lignite, which is enough for approximately 60 percent of the TPPNT production. The usual amount of coal which is delivered from MB “Kolubara” during the winter is some 90 thousand tons.

At the moment, only two mines, out of four, operate– Field “B” and Field “D”. Draining of the open pit mine “Veliki Crljeni” is very slow, since the water level dropped only 70 centimeters in a month. Nevertheless, the biggest challenge will be the draining of the open pit mine “Tamnava-West Field”, which produces half of the total quantity of Kolubara’s lignite. How the water from the lake created within the mine is going to be pumped is the question that concerns the local experts. There is no much help from the foreign expert either, considering that none of the European mine has been faced with such a complex problem.

As far as the production capacities of EPS are concerned, at the thermal power plant “Kolubara” in Veliki Crljeni, where the fire burst due to the flood, the damage is estimated to be some 4 to 5 million euros. At the TPPNT B, the greatest damage is on the pumps and motors which were located under the ground, but that was repaired. However, the greatest losses arise when there is no delivery of the electricity, because when one block of TPPNT does not work, the daily loss is approximately 200,000 euros.

Deputy General Director of EPS, Životije Jovanović, stressed that the priority of EPS, during the summer when the electricity consumption is lower, is to repair the damage and enable the mines in order to produce enough coal for the thermal power plants. He said that EPS would work hard to provide the regular electricity supply during the winter, and if necessary, would import the electricity.

When you take into account the fact that 65 percent of the total amount of electricity is produced from the coal, it is obvious that EPS will have to import the electricity during the winter. How much electricity will miss lack in the power system primarily depends on the speed that will stabilize the production in MB “Kolubara” and that will have to be the subject of a serious analysis in the following period, in order to prepare the import plan on time and to purchase the electricity under the favorable conditions. Lower level of the coal production will cause higher imports and vice versa.

Imports of electricity will be expensive item for EPS, because, as a reminder, during the flood, it was spent 6.5 million euros for providing the required quantity of electricity. At what price we will import the electricity will depend on the situation in the electric power system in the region. Delays and problems in the electricity production in the region could influence the growth of the electricity price and thus increase costs for the purchase of the electricity that will be lacking for domestic purposes.

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