The results of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study for thermal power plant Sostanj (TES) was presented by TES’ management. The results have shown that the planned project to co-incinerate solid recovered fuel (SRF) is acceptable as it does not worsen the existing environmental situation in the Salek valley.
The EIA study takes into account the impact there would be on the environment and people with the introduction of co-incineration of SRF during the period of adjustment of TES – both during the implementation of co-incineration and in the eventuality of its discontinuation. All impacts during the operation have been assessed as insignificant. Because the EIA results are encouraging, the management of TES has decided to continue with the procedure, which is why it has submitted the study to the Environment Agency of the Republic of Slovenia (ARSO). With this, the procedure to obtain environmental consent for co-incineration for unit 6 has officially started.
The EIA results confirm the projections that the planned co-incineration will reduce the negative environmental impact. This means that, compared to the existing situation, there would be less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Additionally, all other environmental impacts would remain within the permissible limit values. If SRF is added to lignite, the emissions would not only be compliant with the limit values stipulated by Slovenian laws and regulations, but also with the provisions and limit values determined at the European Union level in the BAT (best available technology) conclusions. What needs to be emphasized is that the operation of TES would still remain closely connected with the Premogovnik Velenje coalmine in the case of co-incineration. Lignite remains the primary energy source and co-incineration is not possible without it.
Up to 160,000 tons of SRF would be consumed annually in TES or up to 6 % of the total mass of the primary energy source (lignite). SRF with a calorific value of between 14 and 20 MJ/kg would be used for co-incineration. This, relative to the mentioned mass fraction, represents up to ten percent of the total energy value of lignite. As the required SRF would have a higher calorific value compared to lignite (between 9 and 11 MJ/kg), adding it to the mix would improve the efficiency of production of electricity and heat for district heating in the Salek valley.