Serbia: TPP Kolubara B spatial plan public debate stopped

, News Serbia Energy

According to the statement from the Ministry of Construction and Infrastructure, it has decided to end the discussion on the project soon after it started due to the obstruction of non-governmental organization Renewables and Environmental Regulatory Institute (RERI).

According to RERI, the Ministry tried to hold the public debate despite organizational shortcomings, such as the ban on gatherings of more than 30 people due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, many were left out of the building where the debate was held, unable to participate in the discussion. In July, public debate on the draft spatial plan for the project for the construction of TPP Kolubara B was postponed to an undisclosed date due to a spread of COVID-19 in the country. In 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.