Source: eKapija | Friday, 27.01.2023.| 09:27
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All About the Bad Coal – 2022 Retrospective, Investments in UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENERGY

(Photo: jaroslava V/
In what we can now safely call a new era, which has forced the world into a struggle for energy survival, green investments in energy stand out as a special segment that countries count on to a great extent. Serbia is no exception, so our list of the most important energy projects in the past year features investments in green energy in the first five sports, with one exception.

To clarify, hydro energy projects and investments in solar projects are a priority for the Serbian government, but Serbia, as a country which gets nearly 70% of its electricity from coal, cannot abandon this energy source that easily. It is therefore not surprising what kind of an interest the news that EPS plans to open a new Kostolac mine has caused.

But let’s start from the beginning and take a look at which projects in 2022 drew the most attention from our readers when it comes to energy, but also utility infrastructure. These are the TOP 10 of the investments that you read about the most:

As expected, in the first spot on our list is the planned construction of the Reversible Hydro Power Plant (RHPP) Bistrica, as the biggest and most important energy project in the country. The construction of the RHPP Bistrica has been planned for 4 decades now, and the project was “resurrected” in the summer of 2021, when the then energy minister Zorana Mihajlovic stated that it had been included in the state energy investment plan worth EUR 17 billion. Later, at the end of that same year, the tender for the preparation of project documentation was opened, which eKapija also uploaded on its website and which shows that the construction of a new dam called Klak, 90 meters tall, is planned on the Uvac river.

Illustration (Photo: Unsplash/Dan Meyers)
Ahead of the New Year 2022, the authorities announced that the system could be connected to the network in 2025, and in July, the draft Spatial Plan of the special-purpose area of the system of the reversible hydro power plant Bistrica and the hydro power plant Potpec was put up for early public inspection.

The second spot on eKapija’s list belongs to the announcement of the new Kostolac mine. We announced the Kostolac West Mine in the autumn, upon the opening of EPS’ tender for the preparation of the Main Mining Project for the opening of the West Kostolac site.

Illustration (Photo: Askolds Berovskis/
According to the estimates, the investment will be worth EUR 400 million, and the plan is to excavate 3,000,000 tons of coal a year for the Obrenovac thermal power plants, and later on for the three Kostolac thermal blocks as well. Soon afterward, the tender for 89 exploration boreholes was opened.

The position number 3 belongs to another reversible hydro power plant, Djerdap 3, in which the American construction giant Bechtel is interested.

Illustration (Photo: Sky Light Pictures/
The president of this company, Stuart Jones said last summer, after talks with the Minister of Mining and Energy, Zorana Mihajlovic, that the company was interested in "taking a closer look at the possibilities for cooperation with Serbia in in the field of energy, among other things, through the financing of the previous feasibility study for the HPP Djerdap 3 project".

Mihajlovic said that the total installed power could reach 2,400 MW, with another 400 MW of capacity for production of electricity from wind and sun.

Last summer’s announcement of the imminent construction of the biggest privately-owned bifacial solar power plant on the ground in Serbia, placed 4th.

Illustration (Photo: Shutterstock)
This is the solar power plant DeLasol with a power of 9.913 MW, with 17,980 solar panels, which will spread on 12 hectares in the territory of the municipality of Lapovo, and the investor is Milos Kostic.

Another solar project follows in the 5th spot – the first agrisolar project in the region, worth 340 million. With the signing of the memorandum of understanding with the Chinese company Power China, the companies Fintel Energija and MK Group officially began the realization of the joint project Agrosolar in Kula.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (Photo: Promo/Jakov Simović)
The project was announced as a pioneering endeavor which uses sun energy and at the same time enables a sustainable agricultural production beneath the solar panels. The solar power plant will have a capacity of 660 MW, and the planned annual production of green energy is about 832 GWh, which meets the needs of about 200,000 households.

Kolubara B, a sensitive spot within the Serbian thermal energy sector, placed 6th, more precisely, the cautious announcement that the project, which was stopped last year, might not be abandoned after all.

Illustration (Photo: Rebecca Humann from Pixabay )
The Draft Amendments to the Spatial Plan for the Area of Exploitation of the Kolubara Lignite Basin, which was up for public inspection in mid-December, mentions the construction of this block, which was started back in the 1980s. The document says that, within the location of the TPP “Kolubara B”, with an area of 105.5 ha, the completion of the construction of an energy complex is planned.

In the 7th spot, another solar project, this time a state project, and again pertaining to the Kostolac basin – the plan of EPS to build a solar power plant Petka of around 10 MW, with 17,100 panels, within the tailings pond at the open-pit mine Cirikovac.

Illustration (Photo: Pixabay / AhmadArdity)
At the beginning of last year, the tender for contractors was published, but it was stopped in April because EPS had abandoned the whole project due to, as said in the decision, “the lack of available funds”.

The 8th spot features another solar energy project.

Illustration (Photo: Gustavo Fring from Pexels)
It is the solar power plant Solarina, which is to be built near Zajecar by the eponymous company from Belgrade. The planned power of the solar power plant is around 150 MW.

In the 9th spot, finally, a wind energy projectthe wind farm Grot and Oblik with a power of 100 MW.

Illustration (Photo: Pixabay / enriquelopezgarre )
The Belgrade-based company Windflow West, a company with American-Turkish capital, plans to build it on the hills of Vranje.

Finally, in the 10th spot – the heating of Belgrade with hot water from Obrenovac. The initiative for Belgrade to get heating energy from the Thermal Power Plant Nikola Tesla A (TENT A) was launched half a decade ago, when the construction of the Obrenovac-New Belgrade heating pipeline was agreed with Chinese companies, and in early 2022, it was finally put into motion as Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) opened the public procurement procedure for the adaptation of the existing facilities within TENT A.

Illustration (Photo: tetiana_u/
The agreement worth EUR 9.1 million was awarded only at the end of last year, to the Polish company GE Power, branch General Electric International Belgrade, and the Belgrade-based company Feromont Inzenjering as a subcontractor. At the beginning of January this year, the PUE Beogradske Elektrane and the PE Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) signed the Agreement on the construction of the missing infrastructure and the regulation of the mutual rights and obligations related to the realization of the project of the construction of the heating pipeline.

B. P.

We presented the 11 investments that attracted the most attention from our readers when it comes to utility infrastructure and energy. Make sure to take a look at the full list HERE.

We also invite you to see which investments marked 2022 in the fields of TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT AND RECREATION, INDUSTRY, as well as AGRICULTURE AND FOOD INDUSTRY.

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