Slovenia and coal

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Approximately one-third of Slovenian electricity consumption is derived from two brown-coal and lignite fired power stations. These ageing power stations account for all of the domestically mined coal. One of the existing power stations -- the 125 megawatt Trbovlje Power Station is scheduled to be closed in 2015 while two additional units with an installed capacity of 350 MW at Sostanj power station are due to close in the same year. Termoelektrarna Sostanj (TES), the owner and operator of the Sostanj power station, are proposing to build a new 600 megawatt lignite fired power station to replace the existing units. The proposed expansion is being opposed by both local and regional environmental groups.

Slovenian electricity

Other than coal-fired plant, in the first nine months of 2012 nuclear power provided 37% of the country's electricity and hydro just over 29%. Solar provided only 1.3% of national electricity.[1] The Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia reports that in 2011 total gross electricity generation was 16.056 GWh. It reported that solar accounted for less than a half of a percent of electricity production. However, it stated that photovolatic power increased by 411% from a low base.[2]

Coal mining

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that "coal is produced at two mines near Trbovlje and Velenje and is used for electricity production at the Trbovlje and the Sostanj thermal powerplants. The mine at Trbovlje is scheduled to shut down in 2015."[3]

The British Geological survey states that over 4 million tonnes of lignite coal and 40 thousand tonnes of brown coal were extracted in 2010.[4]

The USGS estimates that in 2008 Slovenia mined 489,000 tonnes of brown coal and 4.03 million tonnes of lignite, a 24% drop from the previous year.[3]

The 2008 USGS report[3] and a Eurocoal report[5] also state that:

Coal reserves

Resources of lignite and brown coal in Slovenia are estimated at 1,174 million tonnes, with mineable reserves accounting for 144 million tonnes, according to Euracoal.[6]

Coal imports

The British Geological survey states that 550,000 tonnes of coal were imported into Slovenia in 2010.[7]

Existing coal-fired power stations

The two existing coal-fired power stations in Slovenia are:

  • the 125 megawatt brown-coal fired Trbovlje Power Station is owned and operated by Termoelektrarna Trbovlje d.o.o. (RTH). The power station, which is located near Trbovlje, is supplied with approximately 700,000 tonnes of brown coal from the nearby Rudnik Trbovlje Hrastnik mine. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the mine is "scheduled to shut down in 2015."[3]
  • Sostanj power station, an existing 779 megawatt power station located near Velenje in north-east Slovenia. The power station is owned by Termoelektrarna Sostanj (TES). The two original lignite-fired units at the plant which were referred to as Block 1 and Block 2, were commissioned in 1956 and 1960 respectively. These two units were shut down in 2010 and 2008 respectively. The plant has three operating lignite-fired units -- Block 3 (75 MW), Block 4 (275MW) and Block 5 (345MW). These three units were respectively commissioned in 1960, 1972 and 1977 respectively. Blocks 3 and 4 are scheduled to be shut down in 2015. Block 5, along with two 42 megawatt gas-fired units commissioned in 2008, are nominally scheduled to run until 2027.[8] TES have proposed to build a 600 megawatt lignite fired power station to replace the plant’s existing units 3-4 in 2015 and possibly 5.[9] The proposed expansion would require finance from international public investment institutions.[10]

Articles and resources

References

  1. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, "Energy, Slovenia, September 2012 - provisional data", October 25, 2012.
  2. Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, "Annual energy statistics, Slovenia, 2011 - final data", October 2, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Mark Brininstool, "The Mineral Industry of Slovenia", U.S. Geological Survey, October 2009.
  4. "European Mineral Statistics: 2006-2010," British Geological Survey, 2012.
  5. "Slovenia," Eurocoal, accessed Nov. 2012.
  6. "Slovenia," Eurocoal, accessed Nov. 2012.
  7. "European Mineral Statistics: 2006-2010," British Geological Survey, 2012.
  8. Termoelektrarna Sostanj, "TEŠ – an important pillar of Slovene energy", Termoelektrarna Sostanj website, accessed October 2012.
  9. "Sostanj lignite thermal power plant unit 6, Slovenia," Bankwatch, accessed Oct. 2012.
  10. "Coal Fired Plants Financed by International Public Investment Institutions since 1994", Appendix A in Foreclosing the Future: Coal, Climate and International Public Finance: Investment in coal-fired power plants hinders the fight against global warming, Environmental Defense Fund, April 2009.

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