The need to advance environmental protection, Serbia’s moving closer to the European Union, and electricity market opening are the main reasons why EPS is increasing its investments in the environment and electricity generation from renewable sources
Every investment project of Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) encompasses measures to advance environmental protection as part of the responsible and sustainable operations of Serbia’s largest energy company. EPS has invested more than €320 million over the last 15 years in projects that improve the quality of air, water and land. With this, EPS earned the leading position as the largest investor in environmental protection in Serbia.
EPS is continuing along that same green road in the coming years, with planned additional environmental investments of around €860 million, through 50 projects that should be implemented by 2025. Eight environmental protection projects worth €296.4 million are already in the implementation stage, while another 16, worth €325.2 million, are under preparation. The implementation of additional projects worth €242.6 million is also envisaged.
The priority and the largest volume of investment, totalling around €650 million, is envisaged in the field of air quality protection, through the construction of flue gas desulphurisation systems and reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions in thermal power plants. With this, EPS meets stringent EU environmental standards and reduces emissions below the limits set by domestic and European regulations.
By 2025, these investments will have reduced sulphur dioxide emissions by 90 per cent, nitrogen oxide by 45 per cent and particulate matter by 95 per cent, compared to levels from 2008 – 2012 period.
Around €53 million is foreseen for land protection, primarily for remediation at ash dumps, while around €43 million is envisaged for wastewater treatment at all plants and surface water monitoring. About €115 million has been foreseen for investment in waste management and around half a million euros has been set aside for reorganisation of the environmental protection system.
At EPS’ six thermal power plants, lignite from the open-cast mines of RB “Kolubara” and Kostolac coal basin produces about 70 per cent of the electricity required for the needs of the market in Serbia. Coal production and electricity generation represents an entirely domestic product that ensures Serbia’s energy stability and independence. That’s why planned projects have also been initiated to invest in the modernisation of production and meeting strict environmental criteria.
One of the most important projects is the construction of the flue gas desulphurisation system at EPS’s largest power plant. When the construction of the flue gas desulphurisation facility at Nikola Tesla A Thermal Power Plant in Obrenovac is completed in 2022, sulphur dioxide emissions will be reduced nine-fold, to 7,800 tonnes annually. TENT A produces about 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which means that a third of Serbia’s electricity generation will be protected by the desulphurisation project, enabling stable and environmentally friendly coal exploitation that serves the security of the energy system.
Additional environmental investments of around €860 million are planned through 50 projects that should be implemented by 2025
The construction of the flue gas desulphurisation plant at TENT A is being implemented under the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of Japan, which forms the basis of the Loan Agreement for project financing that was signed between PE EPS and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Contractors are led by the Japanese company Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems. Serbian companies’ share in the project will exceed 50 per cent because the project also aims to contribute to the development of the local economy.
This is one of the most important investments in the region, due to investment level and positive environmental effects, as well as the fact that it fulfils Serbia’s obligations under the Southeast European Energy Community Treaty.
– We are striving to secure the future of TENT A and harmonise production with the European environmental standards. The construction of a desulphurisation plant at the largest Serbian power plant is just one in a series of EPS projects, which places us among the most developed energy companies in Europe.
The new ‘Kostolac B3’ 350-megawatt thermal unit is being built in accordance with the strictest environmental criteria, we are modernising hydro capacities and building new capacities that utilise renewable energy sources. Our obligations are to preserve all inherited production and distribution capacities, to improve them, modernise them and bring them closer to the European level – said EPS Acting Director Milorad Grčić.
EPS isn’t dedicated only to environmental protection – the priority is also operating in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. This much broader notion encompasses projects related to increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the generation, improving energy efficiency, more efficient use of coal by managing quality and reducing losses on the grid. EPS will invest €2.3 billion in these areas by 2025, which testifies to how aware EPS is of its obligations and responsibilities.
Serbia’s moving closer to the European Union, the opening of the electricity market and the need to improve environmental protection are the main reasons why EPS is increasing its investments in environment and electricity generated from renewable sources. EPS is involved in wind power projects and, together with projects in the hydro sector, it will contribute to Serbia achieving the European obligation for 27 per cent of total consumed energy to be generated from renewable sources by 2020.
EPS’ first solar power plant “Brana Lazići” in Zaovine, began operating in October 2016, when the first capacity of 110 kilowatts of electricity generation was made operational. During the first 15 months of operations, until December 2017, ever since the remaining 220 kilowatts have also been on the grid, 478,553 kWh of electricity has been generated.
Among EPS’ priorities are the revitalisation and modernisation of existing large and small HPPs, the construction of new small HPPs, as well as the development of wind farms, the first of which will sprout up two years from now.
ENERGY FROM THE POWER OF KOŠAVA WIND
EPS and the entire Serbian energy system are taking steps towards fulfilling obligations to increase the share of renewable energy sources in total consumption. The first wind farm EPS is constructing in Kostolac represents a significant investment amounting to a total of around 100 million euros.
The wind farm will have a total power of 66 megawatts, which is sufficient to supply a city of 30,000 households. EPS signed a contract for the financing of this project with the German Development Bank – KfW, for 80 million euros loan. 20 pylons with wind generators will be built within the wind farm, in the area of the closed open-cast mines and landfills of EPS’ branch “TPPOCM Kostolac”. Expected annual generation is about 150 million kilowatt-hours.