Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) and Serbian Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) signed an agreement on a long-term cooperation on monitoring impacts of EPS operations on the environment. This initiative is a part of one-billion-euro worth company efforts to reach EU environment standards and make its business sustainable.
The agreement was signed by Milorad Grčić, acting director of EPS and Filip Radović, director of SEPA. According to the document, EPS and SEPA will cooperate on environment quality monitoring, for example, air, water, land, waste and noise level, non-ionizing radiation and other effects on the environment in the vicinity of the EPS power plants and distribution facilities.
EPS will timely receive and be able to use the results from the SEPA’s measuring stations, which is important for the prevention and reduction of the adverse environmental impacts.
After signing the agreement, Grčić said that EPS has invested about EUR 200 million in environmental protection so far and that by 2026 the company will invest a total of EUR 1 billion.
“This clearly shows that the process of corporate restructuring continues and that EPS moves ahead safely,” he said.
The director of SEPA said that power generation has the greatest impact on the environment, therefore it is important to monitor and to try to minimize the consequences.
“Environmental protection is never an expense but an investment in a better future. This agreement is not just a formality, but we will meet and talk again, all for the purpose of efficient use of energy and environmental protection,” said Radović.
The director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Daniel Berg also attended the ceremony and pointed out that EPS needs such a document to be sustainable.
“The EBRD will continue to assist Serbia in obtaining a sustainable and efficient energy system. Being a responsible company means being an efficient and well-managed company and finally, being a profitable company,” said Berg.
Through the establishment of cooperation with SEPA, EPS meets requirements imposed by the restructuring programme supported by the EBRD loan. In addition, the state-owned company implements the provisions of the Action Plan for the Environment and Social Affairs, which is in compliance with the environmental and social policy implemented by the EBRD.
EUR 1 billion to bring facilities up to EU standards
Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) will invest around EUR 1 billion by 2026. in order to bring its facilities up to EU environmental standards. The investments were announced by the Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antić on the occasion of last week’s visit to Nikola Tesla thermal power plant (TENT) A in Obrenovac together with the European Commission’s Director General for Enlargement Christian Danielsson, head of EU Delegation in Serbia Michael Davenport and acting general manager of EPS Milorad Grčić.
The Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antić said that the construction of a desulphurization facility in TENT A should be arranged by fall, adding that it will cost EUR 200 million.
Antić said that desulphurization and denitrification are needed for all facilities, as well as solving the issue of wastewater treatment.
He added that electrostatic filters have been installed at all large facilities, allowing for denitrification process to commence.
According to the Ministry, the most important projects will focus on decreasing GHG emissions into the air from thermal power plants. This includes particulate matter, sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides. Measures to decrease EPS facilities’ negative effects on water, soil and biodiversity will also be implemented.
The expected effects of EPS’ measures against air pollution by 2026. are decreasing nitrogen oxide emissions by 46 percent, sulfur oxides by 92 percent and particulates by 84 percent compared to 2013. levels.
As of 2000. EPS has invested around EUR 200 million in environmental protection. Seventeen environmental projects have been realized with the aim of improving air, water and soil protection in Serbia. Six of those projects were implemented with the help of the EU.
EPS installed or reconstructed filters on 14 block units, decreasing particulate matter emission. Projects to decrease nitrate oxides emissions have been implemented on three block units, with one more project currently ongoing.