Environment

Fresh protest held in Serbia’s Bor over excessive air pollution

Bor air pollution

Photo: Serbia Zijin Bor Copper, October 10, 2019 (BGEN)

Published

October 15, 2019

Country

Comments

0

Share

Published:

October 15, 2019

Country:

Comments:

0

Share

A third protest this year has been held in Bor in eastern Serbia over excessive air pollution that has been intensified since China’s Zijin took over copper miner Rudarsko-Topioničarski Basen (RTB) in late 2018.

Since January 2019, Bor has been struggling with excessive air pollution, with sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels topping 2,000 micrograms per cubic meter in the past several months, up from the maximum allowed 350, resident Katarina Vasković said at the protest held on October 14, Bor 030 reported.

Protesters demanded that the city government urgently adopt a short-term plan so that the line ministry and state inspectorates can react to the alarming pollution levels in Bor.

Protesters handed the demands to Zijin, the city government, representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and the Bor administrative district, giving them 10 days to respond.

Bor Mayor Aleksandar Milikić reacted during the summer over excessive SO2 and harmful particulate matter (PM) pollution, saying that air pollution is “unacceptable in Bor.”

A reaction from Serbia Zijin Bor Copper followed in September.

The company said in a press release at the time that environmental problems in Bor had been ignored for more than a century and that RTB had neglected to implement the necessary flue-gas desulfurization measures during the construction of the new copper smelter, also noting that the smelter equipment is outdated.

According to the press release, Zijin is already taking measures to reduce air pollution and plans to build a flue-gas desulfurization facility, as well as to take other steps to improve the smelter’s efficiency and the stability of the production process.

Fire erupts at newly built smelter in 2015

Insajder’s journalists have investigated the deal that the Serbian government concluded in 2010 with Canada’s SNC-Lavalin for the construction of the new smelter.

The investigative series called “A Debt Mine” looked into how the investment cycle in Bor in 2009 led to uncontrolled spending and the suspension of the Public Procurement Law, allowing for major deals to be agreed in direct talks with investors.

The biggest of these investments was made in the construction of the new smelter, and its value tripled over three and a half years, from EUR 100 million to EUR 300 million.

SNC-Lavalin was contracted for the project in direct negotiations with the Economy Ministry, at the time headed by Mlađan Dinkić, and RTB’s management led by former top man Blagoje Spaskovski, Insajder recalled in the March 2019 article.

Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

Young people, national consultations for Stockholm

Young people have major role to play in energy transition – national consultations for Stockholm+50

22 May 2022 - The youth consultation meeting within Serbia's national consultations for Stockholm+50 focused on young people's role in environmental protection and climate action

Biodiversity Day: Building a shared future for all life

Biodiversity Day: Building a shared future for all life

22 May 2022 - This year’s slogan of the International Day for Biological Diversity celebrated on May 22nd is...

Which countries in Western Balkans intend to introduce carbon tax cbam

Which Western Balkan countries intend to introduce carbon tax?

18 May 2022 - Countries are doing so in order to accelerate decarbonization, but also to avoid paying the carbon border tax announced by the EU

national-consultations-stockholm+50

National environmental consultations for Stokholm+50: unbreakable link between healthy environment and human health

18 May 2022 - The Serbian Ministry of Environmental Protection and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), supported by the Government of Sweden, held the second meeting last week as part of Serbia’s Stockholm+50 national consultations.