Serbian Electric Power Industry is the biggest air pollutant in Serbia

29.Oct 2020.

In 2017, the emission of sulfur dioxide produced by EPS amounted to 330.9 kilotons and a year later 309.5 kilotons. According to recently published data from the Republic Bureau of Statistics, the total CO2 emissions of EPS in the electricity supply sector amount to 89.6 percent, which is a slight decrease compared to the previous year. When it comes to the production of sulfur dioxide particles, the Electric Power Industry of Serbia is still convincingly the biggest air pollutant in Serbia.

However, although the percentage of air pollution by EPS has dropped, the Regulatory Institute for Renewable Energy and the Environment (RERI) points out that this is insufficient when it comes to the obligations we have undertaken towards the European Union on reducing air pollution.

– The fact that EPS slightly reduces the emissions of sulfur dioxide from its production plants, ie thermal power plants, does not change the fact that the company is a big polluter, the biggest when it comes to SO2. As an illustration of how harmful this is, it is best shown by the fact that EPS currently produces six times more sulfur dioxide particles than required by our legislation. That is something that must change – says Mirko Popović from RERI.

According to him, the only way to achieve that is to change the way of electricity production in the Electric Power Industry of Serbia.

– The construction of a desulphurization plant requires time and the question is how much it can fully produce the effect in obsolete thermal power plants such as those available at EPS. Accordingly, an acceptable solution would be to switch to the production of electricity from renewable energy sources and for EPS to play a leading role in that process – our interlocutor believes.

Sources close to EPS say for Danas that the company is working on eliminating the problems with excessive production of sulfur dioxide.

Accordingly, the state has adopted a National Plan to Reduce Emissions from Old Large Combustion Plants (NERP).

The goal of the NERP is to reduce the total annual emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), oxide-nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter in order to reach the limit values ​​prescribed in the EU Directive on Industrial Emissions by January 1, 2028, which have been transposed into national law.

By January 1, 2028 at the latest, the emissions of large plants, which are included in this plan, will be harmonized with the limit values. The list of large plants includes four thermal power plants, thermal power plants and heating plants owned by the Electric Power Industry of Serbia and three plants of the Oil Industry of Serbia. The Minister of Mining and Energy of Serbia, Aleksandar Antić, stated at the time that a great deal of work had been done related to the desulphurization of flue gases in Kostolac, as well as that a project had been started in the thermal power plants in Obrenovac.

According to him, EPS is the company that has convincingly invested the most in the field of environmental protection, more than 400 million euros.

– In the next five to seven years, another billion euros will be invested, which will bring the EPS plants to the level of parameters that are allowed in the countries of the European Union. We have installed electrostatic precipitators in all units that will continue to operate after 2023, denitrification is going according to plan and projects for the construction of a flue gas desulphurization plant are progressing. The review of air quality monitoring speaks in favor of that, which shows that Kostolac is in the category of air quality – excellent – Antić pointed out. As one of the proofs that a lot has been done to increase the protection of the environment in EPS, they point out that the examples due to the emission of powdery substances have been reduced from about 66,000 tons in 2003 to 8,500 tons in 2018.