The major investment cycle of electric utility power company EPS (Electric Power Industry of Serbia) is continuing with increasing intensity throughout Serbia, with the aim of modernising all parts of the system and improving operations
The wheel of investment has been untethered over the last three and a half years, due to a lot of effort being exerted by the management and experts of EPS to relaunch inherited projects that were stuck in a deadlock or lacked proper documentation and permits. EPS is thereby fulfilling its obligation to preserve and modernise constructed capacities, but also to secure Serbia’s energy security with the building of new capacities.
Among the most significant projects is the construction of a new unit with a power of 350 MW in Kostolac, costing 613 million U.S. dollars. After a break of almost three decades, EPS is building a modern, efficient unit that will satisfy all domestic and European environmental standards. The huge work on the construction of the Kostolac B3 unit has been divided into 14 phases and is progressing well in cooperation with Chinese partners.
A significant share of this investment cycle is dedicated to projects for increasing the use of renewable energy sources. Among them, the largest new capacity belongs to a 66-megawatt wind farm that is set to be built in Kostolac. This project, which was inherited without a single permit, is now in the phase of selecting a works contractor according to international criteria. The project has a value of around 100 million euros and will see a total of 20 wind turbines erected on the closed mining pits and landfill sites of the branch of TE-KO Kostolac. The project is expected to result in annual production of around 150 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is enough to supply about 30,000 households.
The largest hydroelectric power plant in Serbia, HPP Đerdap 1, will have its power output increased by about 10 per cent and its service life extended by 40 years through the revitalising of generators. The commissioning of the renewed A2 generator unit in the second half of November 2019 marked the completion of the fifth phase of revitalisation and resulted in a 30MW increase in power output.
The final, sixth phase of revitalisation will follow in 2020, after which HPP Đerdap will have a total power output 180 MW more than before the project. According to plans, the restoration of Đerdap’s first hydroelectric power plant will be followed by the revitalisation of all 10 generators of HPP Đerdap 2, with which will EPS will gain 50 new megawatts of power for generating electricity on the Danube.
Within the scope of investments totalling around 63 million euros, the final renovation works are underway on the renewal of the last generator unit in the revitalisation of HPP Zvornik. With the completion of these works, HPP Zvornik’s power out will reach 125.6 MW, marking an increase of 30 per cent. Complete technical documentation has also been prepared for the revitalisations of HPP Bistrica, HPP Vlasinska, HPP Potpeć and HPP Bajina Bašta.
EPS is investing around 33 million euros in the reconstruction of 13 existing small hydropower plants and the construction of two new ones on existing dams. This reconstruction project also encompasses the oldest small hydropower plants in Serbia, some of which have existed for more than a century and represent parts of the country’s valuable industrial heritage.
EPS has years of development ahead of it, during which it will continue the implementation of large investment projects that have already commenced, while new ones will also be launched in order to secure the future of the company and the development of the Serbian economy.
THE ENVIRONMENT COMES FIRST
Every EPS investment project encompasses measures for improving environmental protection, as part of the company’s responsible and sustainable operations. EPS has to date invested around 400 million euros in projects that improve the quality of air, water and land, thereby taking a leadership position in Serbia.