Serbian state-owned power company Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) is reexamining the economic feasibility of its plan for the modernization of coal plant Kostolac A, with a capacity of 310 MW. The aim was to align it with new environmental standards and extend its lifespan.
EPS’s announcement raises the possibility that thermal power plant Kostolac A could be shut down, which was an option so far only for two of its coal-fired power plants – Morava and Kolubara A.
The first unit of TPP Kostolac A was put into operation in 1968, and the second one in 1980. In October 2020, EPS launched a study to extend its operation until 2038. Now it acknowledged that it is reconsidering the plan and looking at alternatives for the city of Požarevac including Kostolac and the 25 villages for which the facility provides district heating.
In its public call for an analysis of proposed solutions, EPS noted that Kostolac A was planned for reconstruction and adaptation to new environmental protection standards so that it could continue producing electricity.
“Imposed goals at the Energy Community level”, “state determination”…
But EPS also pointed out that the plan could be changed. It cited “imposed goals at the Energy Community level” like increasing the use of renewables and energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also the government’s determination to achieve the targets, evident in preliminary numbers for the upcoming National Energy Climate Plan (NECP) and Energy Development Strategy until 2040.
The goals in the two documents may lead to a decision to shut down both units in Kostolac A, the public call reads.
EPS said the delay and the lack of ability to timely implement environmental protection measures led to the need to reexamine the modernization plan.
The potential decision to shut down TPP Kostolac A would leave citizens in the area without heating, so EPS intends to hire a consultant to examine the proposed solutions.
There are five options for heating Požarevac and its surroundings
The first option is to reconstruct boilers K1 and K2 and auxiliary facilities in unit 1 in Kostolac A for the production of heat. The second version is to reconstruct both turbines at the Kostolac B coal power plant so that it can produce both electricity and heat.
Another proposal is to install new gas-fired boilers at the location of Kostolac A, while the fourth option is to build biomass-fired boilers.
Finally, there is the possibility to construct a new coal-fired boiler at the location of Kostolac A, and another one that would use natural gas or extra light fuel oil.
All versions include steam production for starting the turbines in TPP Kostolac B as it is currently produced in TPP Kostolac A and transported to the other facility.