The construction project of the Kolubara B TPP Serbia on hold for 36 years – Here is what the spatial plan development study envisages

, News Serbia Energy

Construction of the Kolubara B thermal power plant is expected to start in 2020, with an investment worth close to EUR 400 million. The first decision to build this facility was made back in 1984, and works began in 1988, which were suspended after just over three years due to economic sanctions imposed on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In 2018, a decision was made for the state to restart this project, and the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure put up a Study in November 2019 for early public consultations regarding the development of the Spatial Plan of the Special Purpose Area for the Construction of the Kolubara B Thermal Power Plant.

In order for Serbia to have a secure electricity supply in the coming period, but also to export electricity, which is one of the long-term plans, it is necessary, besides upgrading and modernizing existing generation capacities, to build new ones, the study reads. Hence, one of the new plants is the Kolubara B thermal power plant, with a capacity of up to 400 MW.

As stated earlier, the construction of the new unit should generate almost 2,000 gigawatt hours of electricity, which is 6 to 7% of the total electricity currently generated in Serbia.

The indicative boundary of the Planning Area covers an area of 96.16 km2 and includes parts of the City of Belgrade area, namely the urban municipalities of Obrenovac and Lazarevac and parts of the municipalities of Ub and Lajkovac.

As stated in the study for early public consultations, it is envisaged that the area will be divided into two spatial units:

– Thermal power complex and

– Other spatial uses.

The thermal power complex includes the thermal power plant with a 400 kV and 110kV connecting electricity corridor and a pipeline corridor for the transportation of raw water from the pumping station to the thermal power plant. Supply of raw water to the thermal power plant will be provided from the existing pumping station of the Kolubara A TPP after it has been upgraded.

The thermogenic waste landfill will be located in the area of the inside dump of Tamnava – West Field, southwest of the thermal power plant complex. The area envisaged to deposit thermogenic waste from the new Kolubara B TPP unit is planned in a 15 m deep residual pit on the final floor area of the inside overburden dump. The thermogenic waste landfill should comprise fly ash, bottom ash and gypsum cassettes, including sloping and berm forming areas, service roads, etc.

This landfill is intended to dispose the entire thermogenic waste until the end of the Kolubara B TPP operating life, and the bottom and slopes of the landfill will be coated with geotextile foil.

In addition to the thermal power complex, the Planning Area includes other spatial units, namely settlements, public and other infrastructure, agricultural and forest land, watercourses and other uses.

The village of Veliki Crljeni with the energy-industrial complex is a secondary center, and Stepojevac is the community center inside the urban municipality of Lazarevac.

Large parts of the Kalenic, Cvetovac, and Mali Borak areas, as well as smaller parts of the Poljan, Stepojevac, and Veliki Crljeni areas, have been occupied by open cast mines, energy and other facilities in recent periods, with the relocation of the affected households.

Part of Konatica will be occupied by electricity infrastructure. The location of the switchgear and substation will be specified in the Draft Spatial Plan.

According to the study, there is also good quality agricultural land in the planning area, which is mostly suitable to develop agricultural production. The highest quality soils are alluvial and clayey, as well as the loams, which belong to grades I and II and extend into the zones of settlements, roads and river valleys. According to the study, it is envisaged to improve agricultural production in the Planning Area, as well as to improve and protect forest areas.

There are also parts of watercourses in the Planning area – the Kolubara, Kladnica, Beljanica and Turija rivers. These watercourses have largely been developed for flood protection.

The Kolubara River bed has been relocated several times in the past, and another relocation is planned along with other infrastructure in the South Field mine area.

As stated in the study, consideration and adoption of the Spatial Plan will take approximately nine months to one year.

Just as a remainder, the Minister of Mining and Energy, Aleksandar Antic, announced in August 2018 that the state would reactivate the project to build the Kolubara B TPP.

The Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure decided in June 2019 to develop a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of the Spatial Plan of the Special Purpose Area for the construction of the new Kolubara B Thermal Power Plant.

In August 2019, the Government of Serbia also adopted the Decision on the Development of the Spatial Plan of the Special Purpose Area for the Construction of the Kolubara B Thermal Power Plant. Project funds will be provided by the Electric Power Industry of Serbia, while the plan developer is the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure.

Acting director of the Electric Power Industry of Serbia, Milorad Grcic, said in November 2019 that the analyses showed that the beginning of construction of a new Kolubara B TPP unit was justified. As announced then, more than 1,000 workers and numerous subcontractors will work on this project.

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