Environment

Serbia delays public discussion on plan for Kolubara B thermal power plant

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Photo: EPS

Published

July 13, 2020

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Published:

July 13, 2020

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The coronavirus has prompted the Government of Serbia to shelve the public discussion on the draft spatial plan and environmental impact assessment for the Kolubara B thermal power plant. PowerChina is the contractor on behalf of EPS.

The Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure of Serbia said it is unable to hold the public discussion on the draft spatial plan for the Kolubara B thermal power plant. It cited the spread of the COVID-19 disease and added the event would be held at a later date.

The public discussion on the controversial project was scheduled for July 15 and it was supposed to include the strategic environmental impact assessment report as well. The government has revived the Kolubara B project, abandoned three decades ago, and hired PowerChina to install a 350 MW unit by year-end 2024 for state-owned power producer Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS).

Carbon emissions cost factor

It is questionable whether the lignite-fueled power plant would be profitable, given the expenses the company may soon be burdened with if Serbia introduces carbon allowances. Experts have also raised the issue of the quality of the coal from the planned open-pit mines at the site near Belgrade.

Serbia intends to install two lignite-fueled power plants and to overhaul a part of TENT A

Nevertheless, Serbia is building another thermal power plant unit, Kostolac B3, east of the capital city. China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) is the contractor for the 350 MW facility.

More environmental, funding issues for EPS

The project is reportedly suffering delays and funding is said to be an issue, too. On top of it, Kostolac is overlapping a Roman archaeological site.

Of note, EPS intends to reconstruct units A1 and A2 at the TENT A thermal power plant in Obrenovac, a municipality in Belgrade territory. It has until the end of the year to meet the formal requirements to start.

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