Serbia could get five new interconnections for the transmission of electricity by 2035 – with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, and Romania.
The new power lines will increase north-south and east-west transmission capacities via Serbia and boost energy exchange with neighbors, but also strengthen the country’s security of supply.
The projects in question are: Transbalkan Corridor, a new 400 kV interconnection line between Serbia and Croatia, Pannonian Corridor, North CSE Corridor, and Central Balkan Corridor.
The five interconnections are among 141 projects in the latest European Ten-Year Network Development Plan 2022 (TYNDP), which is open for public consultation until September 16. The plan is prepared by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E).
The investments in Serbia are estimated at EUR 500 million
Every two years since 2012, TYNDP defines priority projects at the European level to be implemented by the transmission system operators (TSOs).
According to Serbia’s TSO, Elektromreža Srbije (EMS), the implementation of all five projects is expected before 2035.
This time frame and the fact that investments in the Serbian segments of these projects are valued at EUR 500 million create a challenging, but achievable task for EMS, the company said.
The first step under the TYNDP procedure is to make an assessment of the need for increasing cross-border transmission capacities and propose a capacity increase compared with the existing situation. The proposal must take into account the feasibility of the investment.
Seven Serbian borders have been found to require transmission capacity increases
At almost every border in the Southeast Europe region a significant number of transmission capacity increases has been proposed.
For example, according to the results of TYNDP 2020, the only Serbian border where no need for new investments was determined is the border with Albania, which means that new power lines are needed at seven borders, according to EMS.
Serbia’s new power interconnections with neighbors (Photo: ENTSO-E)
The project is the backbone of Serbia’s future role as an energy hub in this part of Europe. It involves the construction of more than 250 km of transmission lines in Serbia alone, including new 400 kV lines from the Obrenovac substation, via the Bajina Bašta substation, to the borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. It will increase cross-border capacities between Serbia and these two countries, which will become particularly important once the planned Montenegrin section is completed and a second undersea cable between Montenegro and Italy is built.
This will make Serbia an unavoidable part of the electricity transmission route which will connect Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria on the one side with Italy on the other. In addition, the project includes the recently completed 400 kV transmission line between the Kragujevac 2 substation and the Kraljevo 3 substation.
New 400 kV interconnection line between Serbia and Croatia
The project involves building a 400 kV line from the Sombor 3 substation in Serbia to Ernestinovo in Croatia, which will increase the transmission capacity on the border, but also facilitate the integration of renewable energy from the Bačka region. The Serbian section of the transmission line should be about 30 km long.
The project is a response to the need to increase cross-border capacity between Serbia and Hungary, and it involves building a new interconnector on the border between the two countries.
In order to boost the impact, two new sections have been added to the project. One addition is a new link between the Bačka region and the rest of the transmission system, which will provide an alternative to the transmission lines currently serving this purpose and facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources that are planned to be connected in Bačka. The other addition to the project is a section that will strengthen the link between the Sremska Mitrovica substation and other substations, east of Sremska Mitrovica.
The total length of the proposed transmission line is 170 km.
North CSE Corridor
As part of this project, a new 400/110 kV substation, called Belgrade 50, will be built to serve as a hub for delivering electricity to consumers in the Srem and Belgrade areas, ensuring the security of supply in a longer term. The project also includes the construction of a new 400 kV transmission line from the Belgrade 50 substation to the South Banat region, which is known for its wind energy potential. To enhance the impact of the project on renewables integration, it will also involve doubling the existing interconnection between Serbia and Romania and increasing the cross-border transmission capacity between the two countries.
The project will involve building more than 80 km of transmission lines.
Central Balkan Corridor
The project will increase transmission capacities on three state borders, with a new 400 kV line running from the Bulgarian border to the borders with Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to enabling the transmission of energy from north to south through Serbia’s territory, the project will increase the east-west network capacity, strengthening Serbia’s position as a hub within the European electricity system.
Upon the completion of the project, which includes building a new transmission line between the Jagodina 4 substation and Kostolac, Serbia will have a total of 340 km of new transmission lines.