Sostanj power station
|This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Slovenia and coal|
|Part of the Global Gas Plant Tracker, a Global Energy Monitor and Center for Media and Democracy project.|
Sostanj power station is a 1,029 MW (945 MW coal-fired, 84 MW gas-fired) power station in Savinjska, Slovenia, owned by Termoelektrarna Sostanj.
The undated satellite photo below shows the power station near Velenje in north-east Slovenia.
The existing power station comprises the following operating and retired generating units, which are referred to as:
- Block 1 and Block 2, both 25 megawatt generating units, closed in 2010 and 2008 respectively;
- Block 3, a 75 megawatt unit commissioned in 1960, closed in 2014;
- Block 4, a 275 megawatt unit commissioned in 1972, and closed in July 2018;
- Block 5, a 345 megawatt unit commissioned in 1977 and nominally scheduled to run until 2027;
- Block 6, a 600 megawatt unit commissioned in 2015;
- PT 51, a 42 megawatt gas-fired unit commissioned in 2008 and nominally scheduled to run until 2027; and
- PT 52, a 42 megawatt gas-fired unit commissioned in 2008 and nominally scheduled to run until 2027.
Sostanj is the largest thermal power plant in Slovenia and produces electricity and heat using fuel from the Velenje lignite coal mine. In 2012 the Sostanj Power Station generated on average one-third of the electricity in Slovenia.
A new 600 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station (Unit 6) was proposed to "replace obsolete facilities" at the existing plant. The project would replace the power plant’s existing units 3-4 and possibly 5.
Unit 6 was synchronized in 2014, and planned for operation in April 2015. Block 6 will replace unit 3 after going online. The 275MW unit 4 will be decommissioned in December 2015, while the 345MW unit 5 will stay online until the end of 2027.
Cost and Funding for Block 6
The project received permissions from the Slovenian authorities.
In January 2011, a financing agreement for the project was closed. US$971.25 million in loans was provided by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Helaba, Societe Generale, Bankia, UniCredit, and Kommunalkredit Austria. The project also received a US$667,401,143 loan from the European Investment Bank.
In July 2012, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) decided to start an official investigation into the Sostanj plant due to charges of corruption (bribery and money laundering) and conflicts of interests in the granting of the contract to the company Alstom.
In October 2014, Slovenian police charged 10 people associated with the project of defrauding electricity consumers of an estimated €284 million (US$333 million).
In May 2018, leaked details of a Slovenian police investigation into Alstom’s €1.4 billion (US$1.6 billion) 600 MW expansion of the Sostanj plant found that it was €500 million (US$586 million) more expensive than equivalent plants the company built elsewhere (the expansion was originally estimated to cost €700 million, or US$820 million). A Slovenian TV station alleges that documents obtained as part of the investigation indicate Alstom allocated €3 million (US$3.5 million) for kickbacks associated with the project.
In May 2020, after several years of uncertainty over the status of the investigation, Slovene prosecutors filed charges including money laundering against 12 people and two companies. Unofficial information reported by the media suggests that the two companies are Slovenia’s Sol Intercontinental and France’s Alstom Power.
On January 17, 2012, representatives from the Focus Association for Sustainable Development, Environmental Legal Service, and CEE Bankwatch Network filed a complaint regarding the Sostanj Thermal Power Plant in Slovenia. Addressed to Anoush Begoyan of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the complaint emphasized how the power plant threatened to perpetuate CO2 emissions and contribute to dangerous global climate change.
In April 2014, the CEE Bankwatch Network released an article on how the Sostanj power plant will significantly increase EU’s global carbon emissions. They also questioned the economic viability of the project, in conjunction with Slovene ministers and other experts, along with corruption issues in the production of the power plant.
The power station consumes "between 3.5 and 4.2 million tonnes" of lignite a year, approximately 90% of all the coal produced in the country. Coal for the power station is sourced from the nearby Velenje mine.
Project Details for Unit 6
- Sponsor: Termoelektrarna Sostanj (TES)
- Parent company:
- Developer: Alstom
- Location: Sostanj, Savinjska, Slovenia
- Coordinates: 46.372946, 15.053262 (exact)
- Status: Operating
- Capacity: 600 MW
- Type: Ultra-supercritical (manufactured by Alstom)
- Start date: 2015
- Coal Type: Lignite
- Coal Source:
- Source of financing: US$971.25 million in debt from European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Helaba, Societe Generale, Bankia, UniCredit, and Kommunalkredit Austria; US$667,401,143 in debt from the European Investment Bank.
Two gas units have been in operation since 2008. In their 2020 'Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan of the Republic of Slovenia' submitted to the European Commission, Slovenia's government confirmed the closure of coal unit 5 by 2030. There are now plans to replace it with a new gas unit. In 2021 the Ministry of Infrastructure began exploring a complete coal phaseout much earlier, in the 2030s.
- Sponsor: Termoelektrarna Šoštanj D.o.o.
- Parent company: HOLDING SLOVENSKE ELEKTRARNE d.o.o. (HSE)
- Location: Šoštanj, the municipality of Šoštanj, Slovenia
- Coordinates: 46.3723, 15.0534 (exact)
- Gross generating capacity (operating): 1,029 MW (945 MW coal-fired, 84 MW gas-fired)
- Gross generating capacity (proposed): 60 MW
- Unit PT 53: Gas-fired cogeneration, 60 MW (start-up not found)
- Gross generating capacity (retired): 400 MW
Groups campaigning against the proposed expansion
Articles and resources
- Termoelektrarna Sostanj, "TEŠ – an important pillar of Slovene energy", Termoelektrarna Sostanj website, accessed April 2016.
- "Giant unit will lower Slovenia electricity prices from mid-April – traders," ICIS, 17 February 2015
- "Block 4 ceases operating after 46 years", HSE website, July 6, 2018.
- Termoelektrarna Sostanj, "Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant", Termoelektrarna Sostanj website, accessed October 2012.
- "Coal-Fired Plants Financed by International Public Investment Institutions Since 1994", Appendix to Foreclosing the Future: Coal, Climate and International Public Finance: Investment in coal-fired power plants hinders the fight against global warming, Environmental Defense, April 2009.
- "Sostanj lignite thermal power plant unit 6, Slovenia," Bankwatch, accessed Oct. 2012.
- "Alstom brings Unit 6 of Šoštanj power plant to full load," Alstom, 03/11/2014
- “Ex-ante economic and social impact assessment of regions' decarbonisation,” DeCarb Activity 1.1
- Slovenia proposes to phaseout coal by 2033, Enerdata, Mar 24, 2021
- "Preview of Termoelektrarna Šoštanj Lignite Plant | Transaction | IJGlobal". ijglobal.com. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
- "No excuses for the EIB to finance Sostanj". Bankwatch. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
- "Corruption Investigation Finds Overpayment of €500m for TEŠ6 Power," STA, May 30, 2018
- "Slovene prosecutors file charges over coal plant corruption," CEE Bankwatch Network, May 25, 2020
- “Complaint regarding the Sostanj Thermal Power Plant project”, Bankwatch et al., January 17, 2012.
- “Western Balkans: ‘cheap’ lignite plants built now will cost heavily later”, Bankwatch, April 2014.
- "Alstom gets certificate for Slovenia's Sostanj TPP Unit 6," See News July 30, 2015
- Ministry of Infrastructure, Feb 27, 2020
- Thermal power plant Šoštanj takes active role in Slovenia’s energy transition, Balkan Green Energy News, Mar 25, 2020
- TES Homepage
- Global Power Plant Database v.1.2.0, ID WRI1022413 World Resources Institute, June 2019
- Open Power System Data December 2018
- Clean power boost in Central Europe, Siemens Energy, Nov 2007
- TES in Slovenia TES, accessed December 2019
- Slovenia - Country Commercial Guide, International Trade Association, Jul 22, 2020
Related GEM.wiki articles
- "Sostanj Thermal Power Plant", European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, January 2011.
- "Modernisation and Reconstruction of Termoelektrarna Šoštanj Power Plant: Non-Technical Summary", European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, October 2009.
- European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), "EIB and EBRD to support completion of TES-Thermal Power Plant Sostanj project", Media Release, March 8, 2013.
- "Sostanj lignite thermal power plant unit 6, Slovenia", Bankwatch, accessed January 2014.
- "Social Cost of Energy from coal power plant in Sostanj: The consequences of burning lignite on people‘s health and national economy", Greenpeace, June 2012.
- "Energy: Slovenia, costs of Sostanj power plant up: From 1,3 to 1,44 billion euros in construction phase", ANSAmed, June 4, 2013.
- "Coalition Agreement: New" Wish list" Without Substance", Slovenia Times, January 15, 2014.
- "Thermo Plant TEŠ 6: Showcase of Catastrophic Corporate Governance", Slovenia Times, January 22, 2014.