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The two lignite mining fields in Serbia are in the Kolubara and Kostolac basins. The open cut mines in the Kolubara basin produce approximately three-quarters of the lignite in Serbia and supply EPS's TPP Kolubara Power Plant, TPP Nikola Tesla Power Plant and the TPP Morava Power Plant. Mines in the Kostolac basin supply the TPP Kostolac Power Plant.
EPS states that the coal mines associated with power stations in Serbia have a "potential annual production of around 38 million tons."
Existing coal-fired power stations
EPS owns and operates, via subsidiaries, the following coal-fired power stations:
Proposed coal-fired power stations
On June 30, 2011, Serbia's state-run power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) and Italy's Edison signed a preliminary deal under which Edison would build the units, which would be EPS' first new coal-fired capacity in 20 years. A feasibility study is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012. After that the two utilities will set up a joint venture. They gave no estimation of the cost.
Under the proposal, Edison offered EPS a 36.4 percent stake in the new company in which EPS had already invested 300 million euros ($424.8 million) back in 1988 until putting the construction on hold due to lack of funds. EPS issued a tender for the construction of 750 MW and 650 MW coal-fired power plants in 2009, part of its Nikola Tesla (TNT) coal-fired power complex with an existing capacity of 3,300 MW. It had earlier put the construction cost of both plants at around 1.6 billion euros ($2.3 billion). No bidder has expressed interest in building the 650 MW capacity and EPS earlier said it might announce a new tender for the unit.
In 2009, China president Hu Jintao and Serbia president Boris Tadic signed a 15-year agreement for China to invest $1.25 billion in Serbia’s infrastructure and energy through OPM Kostolac. The deal is the latest in a series of energy projects agreed over the past two years with China, along with Russia, when Serbia faced international isolation in the 1990s.
The initial plan was for a new power bloc to replace the two existing plants at the TPP Kostolac Power Plant, with respective installed capacity of 100 megawatts and 200 megawatts. The plants were to be decommissioned in 2017 and 2024 and replaced with the new one, fueled by the Drmno mine, which has around 350 million tons of remaining coal reserves, and the planned acquisition of the nearby Dubravica field, which contains around 400 million tons of recoverable coal reserves. The $700 million new power bloc was expected to produce 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year based on 7,000 operating hours, and would start generating power between 2014 and 2020.
In October 2012 it was reported that Serbia plans to apply to a $10 billion fund that China earmarked for investments in 16 countries of central and eastern Europe. The loan would be for the $700 million project to add a new 350-megawatt plant in the Kostolac power generation complex and increase coal output at the Drmno mine from 9 to to 12 million tons a year. China Machinery Engineering is already involved in an upgrade of two plants at Kostolac B, supported by a $344 million 20-year loan from the Export-Import Bank of China, or Exim Bank.
On October 20, 2011, EPS said it had signed a preliminary deal with a Chinese consortium to jointly build a 744 megawatt coal-fired unit at an estimated cost of more than 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion). Under the deal, a consortium that includes China Environmental Energy Holdings and Shenzhen Energy, and EPS, will form a joint venture for the future project in the southwestern town of Obrenovac, part of its TPP Nikola Tesla Power Plant power complex. An upgrade of the Radeljevo coal mine will feed the plant.
The Stavalj Power Station is a proposed 350MW coal-fired power station in Stavalj, Serbia, 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Belgrade. The station would be fueled by the Štavalj lignite coal deposit, estimated by the Serbia Ministry of Mining and Energy to have 70 million tonnes of coal reserves, sufficient to fuel the plant for 40 years. A pre-feasibility study has been developed for evaluating a new underground coal mine and thermal power plant complex, with the mine having a planned mining rate of 2.3 million tonnes per year of coal.
On May 9, 2012, Serbia and Alta AS, a Czech engineering and energy company, signed a letter of intent to develop the plant and mine. The 500 million euro ($650 million) plant will take three to five years to complete, and will start after technical and financial details are agreed on. Financing will come from a “consortium of banks,” according to Alta. Serbia plans to become a net exporter of electricity by 2015.
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