Serbia: Implementation of the green project in the final stages

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Coal of proven quality

The stockyard is not only important because of the additional reserves, it also allows mixing of coal of lower calorific value with the one of better quality


The introduction of a coal quality management and homogenization system in the western part of the Kolubara Mining Basin is nearing completion. During 2019, the last segment of the green project progressed according to plans from the beginning of the year. Construction barriers were overcome, remaining documentation was completed, and all software and hardware equipment was imported, installed and connected. The entire plant is currently in its optimization phase. The stockyard near Drobilana is being filled, while the stage involving performance tests is ahead. The coal delivery system will include Tamnava-Zapadno Polje and Polje G and later Radljevo, which means that lignite of uniform calorific value will be supplied to TENT from Tamnava mines.

– Testing of the system in operation requires full coordination with the Povrsinski Kopovi Branch, as supply of power plants in Obrenovac is a priority. When we have the first pile with guaranteed quality and start with the second one, we will seamlessly take coal from the mine, and in return supply the one with proven quality. When loading begins from the 400,000 ton stockyard, the mines will more easily deliver the required number of trains per day. We have excellent cooperation with Povrsinski Kopovi, and the system would not have been commissioned without the full support of Kolubara management and EPS – Dr. Darko Danicic, project manager for Projects B and C within the Green Project, explained.

The final phase of performance, reliability and quality tests should be completed by the end of November and certificates issued by early December. The contract with KfW expires late this year, however, as Danicic says, the job will be completed not only because it has to, but because it was expected by technical standards.

Coal quality management and homogenization are a new concept involving lignite of guaranteed quality. Experts say that the stockyard is not only important because of the additional reserves, it also allows mixing of coal of lower calorific value with the one of better quality. This ensures great savings, especially in thermal power plants. Efficient utilization of boilers is much higher when the quality of lignite is balanced than when it oscillates, even within the permitted range.

– We are behind European trends, but that is why we have been able to apply all that is good. Still, there is no one model. There is a general matrix, but one needs to adapt to one’s own special conditions and specific requirements. Designing the entire system and software was a very demanding segment. The software will do many things automatically and will offer a solution, but the responsible person can always do what is better at that moment, because there are also requirements the system cannot consider – Danicic explained, noting that in the project, although it was mostly performed by foreign companies, there is a high level of local component, not only in terms of physical work but also programming.

Part of the employee training has been completed, while the other part is ongoing. Some trainings were not possible until the equipment has been installed.

– What needs to be done now is for Kolubara employees who have undergone training to start with their new jobs. Equipment is essential, but the people using this equipment are most important. A lot of money and time has been invested in training and now it has to be incorporated to allow everything to start working smoothly – Danicic concluded.


Green Project


Package C, namely coal quality management and homogenization, is part of the Kolubara Basin Environmental Improvement Project, an extremely complex project valued at EUR 181 million funded by EBRD and KfW loans with the assistance of the German Government and EPS participation. The green project will improve the coal mining technology, together with thermal power plant efficiency and also reduce adverse environmental impacts. As part of Packages A and B of the green project, a new ECS system and power supply system for Polje C are in operation, as well as an interburden spreader in the Tamnava – Zapadno Polje.


Source: EPS Energy

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