Ugljevik Thermal Power Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Ugljevik Thermal Power Plant is a 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The plant is owned and operated by RiTE Ugljevik, a subsidiary of Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske.

Ugljevik 3 power station, formerly known as Ugljevik 2 power station, is a proposed 600 MW expansion of the plant.

Location

The undated satellite photo below shows the plant located near Ugljevik, in the Republic of Srpska.

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Background

The 300 MW plant began operating in 1985 in the city of Ugljevik, situated in the foothills of the Mount Majevica. The city is named after coal - "ugalj" - which has been mined since 1899. Construction of the first unit got underway in 1976. A second unit was started but construction was halted during the Bosnian war. The plant is considered a sister unit to Gacko Thermal Power Plant.[1]

Ugljevik 3 power station expansion

In August 2012 Comsar Energy Republika Srpska, a joint venture company between Comsar Energy (90%) with RiTE Ugljevik (10%), a subsidiary of Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS), was unveiled. The company has been formed to add two new 300 megawatt coal-fired units to the existing 300 megawatt power station.[2]

In September 2012 the company's environmental impact statement was submitted to the government. The government released a statement announcing that a public hearing on the project would be held on October 10.[3]

In 2014 Comsar Energy Republika Srpska said the company had begun the construction of the Ugljevik 3 power station, with an operation date of 2016.[4] According to local observers, construction had not begun as of October 2014.

The station would be fueled by brown coal from new surface mines in Delići, Peljave-Tobut, and Baljak in the Ugljevik basin, which would be built simultaneously alongside the plant by Comsar Energy, with plans for a total annual coal production of 3.5 million tonnes.[4]

In January 2015, China National Electric Engineering Company signed an MOU with the government of Republic of Srpska, BiH to develop the Ugljevik 3 power station, and the Ugljevik-Istok 2 and Delici coal mines.[5]

As of October 2016 the plant was still seeking financing and facing lawsuits challenging its permit as incongruous with EU regulations of new coal plants.[6]

In July 2017, the Supreme Court of the Republika Srpska Entity cancelled the environmental permit based on a court challenge by the Center for Environment from Banja Luka. However, the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and Ecology responded by issuing another permit without repeating the environmental impact assessment process. This second permit was also challenged in court by the Center for Environment, and annulled in June 2019.[7]

In May 2019, Comsar Energy announced the company was leaving Bosnia & Herzegovina, and terminating all existing projects and investments there, including Ugljevik. Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske is reportedly interested in buying Comsar's shares in the coal plant project.[8]

Opposition

On April 24, 2014, the Center for Environment in Bosnia, Herzegowina, and Serbia held a demonstration in front of the coal-fired power plant Ugljevik. The demonstration was in response to the publication, “Expensive, dirty, poisonous – energy from coal and its dark secrets.” Protestors held a sign that said in Bosnian, “And what’s the price of health?” as well as an inflatable pair of damaged lungs as an art piece.[9]

24 Apr 2014: Activists carry injured lungs against Ugljevik power plant[9]

In 2018, Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities acknowledged that their environmental assessments were illegal and have decided to not use the environmental permit from 2014. In 2014, the Center for Environment from Banja Luka sent a complaint about the environmental permit for building the Ugljevik plant to the Energy Community Secretariat, which was eventually sent to the Ministerial Council in Skopje. The complaint “outlined how the EU’s Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment – binding for Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Energy Community Treaty – has been violated” because the plans for the Ugljevik plant did not include the plant’s impact on the environment, specifically pertaining to CO2 emissions and metal pollution. Furthermore, “the data on emissions of SO2, NOx and dust from the plant are demonstrably false.”[10]

On February 19, 2019, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Sandbag, Climate Action Network Europe, CEE Bankwatch Network, and Europe Beyond Coal released a Chronic Coal Pollution report. The report urged the EU to “take a tougher stance on air pollution from coal power plants in the Western Balkans,” including the Ugljevik power plant in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Their main issue with the power plants were the premature deaths, bronchitis cases in children, and health costs of up to 11,535 million euros ($13 million).[11]

Project Details

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "Coal-Fired Plants in Bosnia & Montenegro," Industcards, accessed March 2016
  2. "Bosnia’s RiTE Ugljevik sets up JV with Cyprus-based Comsar Energy", SeeNews, August 13, 2012.
  3. "Bosnia’s Comsar Energy Republika Srpska submits environmental study for Ugljevik 3 TPP - govt", Seenews, September 19, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "TPP Ugljevik," Comsar Energy Republika Srpska website, accessed Feb 2014.
  5. "Coal mine or Power plant," Consulting Network of China FTZ, 2015-01-13
  6. "Bosnia faces legal action over Chinese-backed coal dash," Climate Home, 28/10/2016
  7. "Ugljevik III lignite power plant, Bosnia and Herzegovina". Bankwatch. 2020-03-01. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  8. "Ruski oligarh napušta Srpsku sa 180 miliona KM u džepu!" Capital.ba, 30 May, 2019
  9. 9.0 9.1 Cough4Coal Facebook Post, Cough4Coal, 24 Apr 2014.
  10. Bosnia-Herzegovina settlement agreement shows coal plant environmental assessment is illegal, CEE Bankwatch Network, 29 Nov 2018.
  11. Environmentalists call for EU action on Westerns Balkans' 'Chronic Coal Pollution', RadioFreeEurope RadioLiberty, 19 Feb 2019.
  12. "China's Global Energy Finance," Boston University, accessed October 2018

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