Slovakia and coal

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This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Slovakia and coal.
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Slovakia's energy supplies are dominated by gas and oil imports from Russia and coal, a declining share of the latter is domestically produced brown coal and lignite from underground mines. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that in 2005 2.5 million tonnes of brown coal and lignite was mined in Slovakia, down from 3.4 million tonnes in 2001.[1]

The International Energy Agency notes that in 2004 approximately 9 million tonnes of coal was consumed with the energy sector consuming 43%, coke plants 21%, industry 24% and others and the residential market 2%.[2] It also notes "coal use has been decreasing and largely relies on imports as domestic lignite production has continued to decline. This trend is expected to accelerate with stricter emission limits and carbon quotas."[3]

The IEA also noted that approximately 4.7 million tonnes of hard coal were imported in 2003, with coking coal for use in steel making accounting for 60%. One million tonnes of lignite were imported.[2]

The IEA reported that in 2003 Co2 emissions from coal combustion were 17 million tonnes accounted for 43.9% of the national total. Electricity and heat generation accounted for 7.1 million tonnes of Co2 emissions, industry 5.1 million tonnes and other energy sector consumers 3.2 million tonnes.[2]

Coal Mining Operations

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, coal mining operations in Slovakia are[1]:

  • Hornonitranske Bane, a.s. at Prievidza in central Slovakia has the capacity to mine approximately 3.5 million tonnes of brown coal. The International Energy Agency reported that "the nearby SE-owned Novaky A power plant buys 85% of the mine output. The rest is sold to district heating plantsand on the retail market. The mine's management and employees now own 97% of HBP after National Property Fund (NPF) sold its remaining stake."[4]
  • Bana Dolina, a.s. at V'lky Krtis in southern Slovakia has the capacity to mine approximately 500,000 tonnes of brown coal. The IEA reported that the mine "has been phased out since 2002" but that "after the first stage of downsizing, the government decided to maintain production at 0.26 Mt while meeting environmental, social and legal obligations. The mine receives subsidies for decommissioning and for redundant employees ... The employees own 63% of the company’s capital";[4] and
  • Bana Zhorie, a.s. at Holic in western Slovakia has the capacity to mine approximately 400,000 tonnes of lignite. The IEA reports that "a nearby CHP plant and the Novaky power plant are the main buyers." It also reports that the National Property Fund "sold its stake in the company, which is now owned 51% by its managers and employees and 13.5% by HBP (with the rest by individual owners)."[4]

(Note: the USGS reports the capacity of the mine not the actual production.)

Coal-fired power stations

Coal-fired power stations financed by international public investment institutions

Coal-fired power stations financed by international public investment institutions include:[5]

Proposed Coal-Fired Power Stations

  • Novaky Power Station Expansion: In 2001 the Swiss company, Advance Power proposed to spend 300 million euros to build a 280 megawatt lignite-fired plant in Novaky. The state-owned power utility SE's existing Nováky plant has an installed capacity of 522 megawatts, of which 110 megawatts capacity was scheduled to be decommissioned in late 2005. Advance Power's proposal was seen as a lifline for the three mines operated by Hornonitrianske bane Prievidza, which supplied the Nováky plant. [7] A report for the European Union reported that the output of the station would be 270 megawatts. The report also stated that "the construction should be launched in 2004 and the plant should be put into operation by the end of 2007. The power plant should generate 2,000 GWh of electricity while consuming 1.7m tons of brown coal from Novaky coalfields annually. The Ministry of Economy issued a license for the project in 2000. The total budget should reach USD 300m, of which Advanced Power should finance 70%. To achieve the aim, a new company Slovenska uholna elektraren Novaky j.s.c. has been established with Advanced Power having share of 66% and Hornonitrianske bane Prievidza 34%. Advanced Power has already made preliminary contract with the electricity distributor SSE as well as with Hornotrianske bane. The idea of project was initiated by Hornonitrianske bane, which currently supplies brown coal to the thermal power station Novaky owned by SE. The conclusion of this contract between SE and Hornonitrianske Bane was forced by the Slovak government in order to preserve the “social coal mining” and thus employment in the region. In coming years, the Novaky power station plans to shut down two obsolete blocks with an installed capacity of 110 MWe. This would decrease supplies of coal from Hornonitrianske Bane significantly, taking a heavy toll on the employment in the region."[8]

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Walter G. Steblez, "The Mineral Industries of Central Europe: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia", 2005 Minerals Yearbook, U.S. Geological Survey, page 28 and 29.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 International Energy Agency, "Slovak Republic - Energy Policy Review 2005: Coal", International Energy Agency, 2006, pages 129-134.
  3. International Energy Agency, "Slovak Republic - Energy Policy Review 2005 - Executive Summary, Recommendations: Rapid, Radical Reforms", International Energy Agency, 2006, page 13.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 International Energy Agency, "Slovak Republic - Energy Policy Review 2005: Coal", International Energy Agency, 2006, pages 131.
  5. "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.
  6. "Objections mount to proposal for new power station in Slovakia", ITN, August 27, 2007.
  7. Peter Barecz, "Swiss firm to build power plant", Spectator, November 6, 2001.
  8. Lubos Bednar, The Expected Effects of the EU Accession on the Electric Energy Sector in the Slovak Republic, International Center for Economic Growth, May 2003, page 32.

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