There is not enough coal for the production electricity at the moment at the depot of the Nikola Tesla thermal power plant (TENT) in Obrenovac, which is why Serbia might face electric power cuts in November, a well-informed source of Danas in TENT and the Kolubara mining basin claims.
The coal reserves of TENT are very small, and, as the Danas source claims, if nothing changes in that regard soon, it's not certain that Elektroprivreda Srbije will be able to provide sufficient amounts of much more expensive imported electricity in the winter season, when the consumption is at its peak.
– The depot at TENT has around 400 thousand tons of coal, and it should have around a million and a half. It should be emphasized that the switching off of several units for the production of electricity has not produced results either. There are no vital parts for maintaining the production in the Kolubara mining basin, and, no matter how much money it now receives from the state or through loans, the effect will be visible in only a few years. The question, however, is what to do until then – says the Danas source, who wished to remain anonymous.
The source adds that it is absolutely true that there is not enough excavated coal in Kolubara at the moment and that coal excavation at the remaining three cuts is irregular.
– The excavator digging out the coal waits for another one to strip the soil layer so that it could work on the coal for several hours. Another instance of fraud by the management is mixing in non-coal intercalation in order to increase the tonnage and formally fulfill the defined production plan – the Danas source says.
According to the Danas source, Kolubara has not been providing TENT with coal of required quality for months, and everything below 6,500 kilocalories is not counted as coal, as proven by the enormous consumption of fuel oil at TENT. More precisely, whenever the coal is not of sufficient quality, fuel oil is added to it, the Danas source explains.
Let us remind that Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antic recently stated that the production of electricity had dropped in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the corresponding period of 2016, but not by 20%, as the opposition claimed, but by 14.5%. He added that the production of coal had dropped by 10%, citing problems with coal transport between Kolubara and Obrenovac in January, when 50 tons were being transported daily, instead of 100, due to the need to de-ice the rail cars, as a reason. The minister also claimed that the drop in production had been caused by meteorological and hydro-meteorological conditions. As he explained, the production in the D field was reduced in February due to a 2.6-km landslide.