Serbia: Coal TPPs decommissioning plan of EPS Power utility by end of 2015

, News

Serbian state owned power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije EPS is assessing which coal fired power plants will be decommissioned. NERP, national emission reduction plan, is an obligation of Serbia which implies the precise plan of power plants modernization or environment systems modernization. This plan will surely influence the country electricity balance for future period specially 2018/2023/2027.
By end of 2015 Serbia should reach the decision on the fate of its coal fired power plants. EPS is assessing the feasibility of modernization and investments of its coal fired power plants, parallel with environment compliance with EU directives. Some will be decommissioned by 2023 and others will be modernized presume the local energy experts. Currently Serbia has a pretty balanced electricity situation but with opt out regime for some TPPs in period 2018-2023 this situation may change. Serbia has to comply with EU requirements on the emission reduction, specially considering the fact that 70% of electricity is being produced from lignite brown coal being produced in two coal mines Kolubara and Kostolac. The energy balance will also influence the coal production in the country, such impact will have to be projected also in coal mines investment plans for next period.
Kolubara coal lignite mine is the biggest Serbian coal mine, coal is being supplied to biggest EPS power plants located in city of Obrenovac, thermal power plants Nikola Tesla A and B, TENT. Obrenovac based TENT TPPs are the biggest in South East Europe.
EPS as biggest polluter in the country is obliged to submit its emission reduction plan, as part of the national emission reduction plan NERP. EPS have to decide on the future of its TPP units. EPS will have to decide which units will be submitted in the NERP and they will continue operating until the end of their operating life cycle. These units would have to be modernized in environment aspects. Second option is the opt out regime, which means that these units will have limited operating cycle by 2023. For the units continuing its operation EPS will have to draft a modernization plan and provide informations on financing methods. According to Dragan Jovanovic, EPS electricity production executive director, EPS will comply with these rules and follow its internal plan of modernization.
On the other hand green environment groups are commenting that the fact that EPS still did not submitted the plan means only that EPS is delaying its dirty energy policy which is unrealistic. NERP plan should be a basis input for energy strategy which was recently adopted. NERP was not part of energy strategy 2030 which was recently promoted, it includes the new coal fired power generation facilities which will replace the old ones planed for decommissioning.
EPS replied to green NGOs that the modernization of all TPP units is in progress. Filters are being installed and they will decrease the emissions of ash, SO2, NOX.
Additional explanation came from Minister of Energy and Mining Aleksandar Antic which announced the continuation of coal usage but with utilization of new technologies which will make the coal cleaner resources.