Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) started excavating coal at the new cut within the Kolubara mining basin on December 27, Field G, and the plan is to produce between five and six million tons of coal there per year.
Explorations have shown that the zone contains around 34.6 million tons of high-quality coal.
The opening of Field G and the commissioning of the system for the production of overburden has been enabled by moving 2.6 kilometers of the bed of the river Kolubara, which was completed in early July.
In order for operations at Field G to be stable, around seven kilometers of the Ibar highway should be moved by the end of 2018.
The opening of the new cut was attended by Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antic, who said that the cut provided a stable production of electrical energy in the winter season.
– This cut is important for the entire energy system, for the production of coal and electricity – Antic said and pointed out that it was one of the best Kolubara sites, featuring high-quality coal.
Antic said that everything around the G cut related to the moving of the Ibar highway and the river Pestan would cost between 55 and 60 million euros and emphasized that it was a very cost-effective investment.
He said that Serbia now had the biggest amounts of stripped coal, over 10 million tons, ready for exploitation and delivery to power plants.
– We have considerable reserves of coal in deposit sites, around 1.6 million tons altogether, and, when it comes to the Thermal Power Plant Nikola Tesla Obrenovac, the amount is around a million tons, so we are fully prepared for the cold wave – Antic said.
The acting director of EPS, Milorad Grcic, said that Field G was one of the most important fields for the future and survival of the Kolubara mining basin.
He reminded that, around two million cubic meters of overburden had been excavated at the cut since September, so that the coal would be exposed.
Kolubara produces around 30 million tons of coal a year, from which the thermal power plants of TENT, a branch of EPS, produce more than 50% of electricity for the needs of the Serbian market.