Electricity

Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske plans to burn waste in its Gacko coal plant

Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske plans to burn waste in its TPP Gacko

TPP Gacko (photo: RiTE Gacko)

Published

May 17, 2023

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Published:

May 17, 2023

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State-owned power company Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS) in Bosnia and Herzegovina is considering the possibility of adding refuse-derived fuel (RDF) to coal in its Gacko thermal power plant. The utility’s plan envisages a pilot project for burning up to 1,200 tons of waste per day.

The Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and Ecology of the Republic of Srpska has said that Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske and its firm Rudnik and Termoelektrana Gacko (RiTE Gacko) submitted a request for a preliminary environmental impact assessment for a project to develop and verify a new method of using RDF fuel in the production of electricity at the Gacko thermal power plant, with a capacity of 1,200 tons per day.

Interested parties have until May 23 to send comments, the ministry said.

A preliminary EIA is the first stage of the procedure for an environmental permit. The ministry can now ask ERS to prepare it or decide it is not necessary.

The Republic of Srpska is one of the two entities making up Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other one is called the Federation of BiH. The Gacko facility is in the country’s southeast.

ERS expects to reduce the use of lignite as well as to lower pollution

The preliminary EIA was prepared by the Institute for Protection and Ecology of the Republic of Srpska. It is based on another document, the preparation of a technical-technological project for the development and verification of a new method for the use of RDF fuel for the production of electricity in the Gacko TPP. It was produced by German firm PremiumAnlagen.

The project envisages experimental combustion of lignite together with RDF. It is expected to reduce the use of fossil fuels, increase electricity output and cut pollution by lowering the production of ash and CO2 and SO2 emissions.

The goal is to use RDF fuel together with coal in an environmentally friendly way

In the experimental phase, the share of RDF would be gradually lifted from 15 to 50 tons per hour (360 to 1,200 tons per day). The aim is to determine the optimal proportion with regard to the limits for emissions of pollutants.

The goal is to use RDF fuel together with coal in an environmentally friendly way that enables profitable power production, the preliminary EIA reads.

The project was also launched to collect data for the potential production of RDF from industrial and municipal waste and its use as an alternative fuel in the Republic of Srpska.

ERS is not the first to propose the use of RDF in the region

ERS is not the first power company in the region that intends to use fuels derived from waste. Slovenian government-controlled coal and power producer Holding Slovenske Elektrarne (HSE) had a similar plan for Šoštanj, the country’s only coal plant. RDF fuel is used in Hungarian power plant Matra, and by cement plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

According to media reports from September, Elektroprivreda BiH (EPBiH) wants to burn waste at its Tuzla coal plant.

Slovenia is one of the largest exporters of RDF in Southeastern Europe. Elsewhere in the region, the Fiscal Council of Serbia, a government-appointed watchdog, has proposed to start producing the fuel in the country.

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