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Construction of Plants and Electricity/Heat Generation from Hydrogeothermal Resources in the Republic of Serbia - Technical Documentation, Construction of a Structure, and Operating Permit



Construction of structures is carried out on the basis of the Construction Permit, according to the technical documentation for construction of the structure. Technical documentation is a set of designs that are prepared for the purpose of: establishing the concept of the structure, elaboration of requirements, the method of construction of the structure, and for the requirements of maintenance of the structure. Technical documentation is prepared on the basis of the Location Permit, which contains all the requirements and data required for preparation of the technical documentation. Apart from the need to submit the application for the Construction Permit for construction of a power plant having a capacity of up to 1 MW, for which the energy permit is not issued, the documentation necessary to obtain the Construction Permit is obtained without previously following the procedure for issuing the energy permit. (*131)

According to the Law on Planning and Construction, the technical documentation for construction of structures shall consist of: 1) The preliminary feasibility study with the general design; 2) Feasibility study with the preliminary design; 3) The main design, and 4) The detailed design. The As-built Design of the structure pertains to the technical documentation, which is prepared after construction of a power plant, prior to obtaining the Operating Permit.

Prior to the commencement of preparation of the technical documentation for construction of the structure referred to in Article 133, paragraph 2 of the Law on Planning and Construction, for which the Construction Permit is issued by the competent ministry, or by the Autonomous Province, the preliminary work shall be carried out, based on the results of which the preliminary feasibility study and the feasibility study shall be made.

The technical documentation for construction of structures may be prepared by a company, or by another legal entity, or by an entrepreneur, which are registered in the relevant registry for preparation of technical documentation. The technical documentation for construction of structures for which the Construction Permit is issued by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, or by the competent authority of the Autonomous Province, may be prepared by a company, or by another legal entity, which is registered in the relevant registry for preparation of technical documentation for that type of structures and which has employed persons with the licenses for designers-in-charge, who have adequate professional results in preparation of technical documentation for that type and use of structures, or who possess the licenses for preparation of technical documentation for construction of structures for which the construction approval is issued by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, or by the competent authority of the Autonomous
Province.

A general design shall include the data on: 1) The macro-location of the structure; 2) General layout of the structure; 3) The technical and technological concept of the structure; 4) The method of providing the infrastructure; 5) Possible options of spatial and technical solutions from the aspect of fitting in the space; 6) Natural conditions; 7) Assessment of the impact on the environment; 8) Engineering, geological, and geotechnical characteristics of the terrain from the aspect of establishing the general concept and justifiability of construction of the structure; 9) Exploratory works for preparation of the preliminary design; 10) Protection of natural and immovable cultural assets; 11) Functionality and rationality of the design.

The general design and the preliminary design, the preliminary feasibility study, and the feasibility study for the structures referred to in Article 133, paragraph 2, points 5), 9) and 20) of the Law on Planning and Construction (or, when the power plant structure is located in protected environs of an outstanding immovable cultural asset and of cultural assets registered in the Lists of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and of structures in protected areas in compliance with the decision on protection of cultural assets, as well as of structures within the boundaries of a national park and of structures within the boundaries of protection of a protected outstanding natural asset, in compliance with the law, for the power plant facilities having or exceeding 50m in height, for the power facilities having or exceeding 10 MW, as well as for combined heat-and-power plants), shall be subject to review (expert supervision) by the committee, formed by the Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning (hereinafter referred to as: the Review Committee).

The Review Committee shall submit, to the investor, the report with the measures, which must be applied when preparing the main design. The deadline for submitting the report may not exceed 60 days as of the date of a duly submitted application. The costs of design review shall be borne by the investor.

The preliminary design shall specify: the use, position, form, capacity, technical and technological, and functional characteristics of the structure, organizational elements of the structure, and views of the structure. (*132)

The layout plan, which is the necessary element of the Preliminary Design, depending on the type of structure, shall contain: 1) Lengths of each side of the building plot; 2) Height levels of the existing land and leveling; 3) Regulation and building lines, including presentation of the existing and planned structures with outer dimensions, number of floors of the planned structure including the presentation of the final story or roof structure with plane slopes; 4) The position and numbers of adjacent cadastral lots and buildings, as well as the name of the street.

The main design shall specify the civil engineering, technical, technological, and exploitation characteristics of the structure including the equipment and installations, technical and technological and organizational solutions for construction of the structure, the value of investment in the structure, and the requirements for maintenance of the structure. In addition to the elements of the Main Design (*133) strictly prescribed in the Law on Planning and Construction, this design shall also contain the statement of the designer-in-charge and the entity, which has done the review, confirming that the main design has been prepared in compliance with the Location Permit and the rules of profession. The investor shall obtain the approval of the Main Design from the authorities, or organizations, when it is specified in the requirements contained in the Location Permit.

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The detailed design shall contain elaboration of all the necessary details for construction of a structure according to the Main Design. This design shall be prepared for the requirements of carrying out of the work on construction, if the Main Design does not contain elaboration of details needed to carry out the work.

The As-built Design presents the as-built state of the structure and it shall be prepared for the requirements of obtaining the Operating Permit, exploitation, and maintenance of the structure. This design shall include the contents of the Main Design and the modifications occurring in the course of construction of the structure. In case there have been no deviations from the Main Design in the course of construction of the structure, the investor, the person who has done the review, and the contractor shall corroborate and certify, on the main design, that the as-built state is equal to the designed state.

In addition to the above specified, the preliminary feasibility study (*134) and the feasibility study (*135) shall be made. The preliminary feasibility study shall contain the General Design. The feasibility study shall contain the Preliminary Design.

The design and technical documentation may be prepared by a company, or by another legal entity, which is registered in the relevant registry for engaging in the activity of design and engineering and which meets the requirements with respect to the qualified personnel and other requirements stipulated for enterprises that prepare technical documentation.

In case of construction of power plants, on the basis of the obtained Information on Location and collected requirements, it is customary to prepare the design documentation on the level of the system study, in the case of more complex systems of power plant facilities, or on the level of the general design - the conceptual design for a simpler system of facilities (which is most often the case in the current practice, but it is not the obligation under the Law on Planning and Construction, except for the facilities referred to in Article 133, paragraph 2 of this Law).

The general design shall be prepared when there is no detailed regulation plan and, when the plan exists, the Feasibility Study and preliminary design shall then be prepared, specifically only for the structures referred to in Article 133, paragraph 2 of the Law on Planning and Construction. The aim of the General Design of a power plant is to obtain the technical and economic parameters for such facilities, based on which it is possible to make the Preliminary Feasibility Study in order for the Investor to decide on his/her further
activities on the project for realization of the concrete facility – applying for the Location Permit for that particular location or looking for a new location, as well as in order to direct the required exploratory and study works (geodetic, geological, soil mechanics, hydrological, etc.) in the most rational direction.

The Law on Planning and Construction stipulates that, after obtaining the Location Permit, one may prepare the Main Design, or the preliminary design for the structures referred to in Article 133, paragraph 2 of the Law on Planning and Construction. The Main Design represents a detailed elaboration of the technical solution, which has been obtained in the previous design stage (the general or the preliminary design), based on detailed exploratory work and requirements defined in the Location Permit. The Main Design represents a detailed design elaboration of a layout-wise fully defined facility and its ancillary facilities. The computations within the Main Design shall be on the highest level of detail, including full verification of all the components of stability of the structures.

The investor shall obtain the approval of the main design from the authorities or organizations, when it is specified by the requirements contained in the Location Permit (*136).

The Main Design shall be subject to review. The review of the Main Design may be exercised by a company or another legal entity and by an entrepreneur, who fulfills the requirements for preparation of technical documentation prescribed by the law and who are designated and financed by the investor. The review of the main design for construction of structures for which the Construction Permit is issued by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, or by the competent authority of the Autonomous Province - may be prepared by a company, or by another legal entity, which is registered in the relevant registry for preparation of technical documentation for that type of structures and which has employed persons with licenses for designers-in-charge, who have adequate professional results in the preparation of technical documentation for that type and use of structures, or who possesses the license for preparation of technical documentation for construction of structures for which the construction approval is issued by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, or by the competent authority of the Autonomous Province.

A report shall be made on the completed review, which shall be signed by the designer-in-charge employed in the entity, which has done the review. Accuracy of the main design shall be certified on the actual design. The review of the main design for construction of structures, for which the Construction Permit is issued by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, or by the competent authority of the Autonomous Province, shall also include verification of the harmonization with the measures contained in the report of the review committee. (*137)

Construction Permit

After completion of the review of the main design and getting a positive report on the completed review, or verification of accuracy on the actual design, the Application for the Construction Permit shall be submitted. If the power plant has a capacity equal to or exceeding 10 MW, or if it is located in protected environs of outstanding cultural assets with clearly defined borders of cadastral lots, and of cultural assets registered in the Lists of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and of structures in protected areas in compliance with the decision on protection of cultural assets, as well as of structures within the boundaries of a national park and of structures within the boundaries of protection of a protected outstanding natural asset, in compliance with the law, then the application shall be submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning or to the competent authority of the Autonomous Province if the power plant is located in its territory.

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The application for the Building Permit shall be submitted to the competent authority of the unit of local self-government if the subject power plant has a capacity of up to 10 MW. The following shall be submitted with the application for the Construction Permit: 1) The Location Permit; 2) The main design in three copies including the report on the completed review and verification of its accuracy; 3) The evidence of the ownership right, or of the right to lease the construction land; 4) The evidence of the executed payment of the fee for the construction land development; 5) The evidence of payment of the administrative fees and duties; 6) The energy permit (if the capacity of the power plant exceeds 1 MW).

For the structures for which the Construction Permit is issued by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, or by the competent authority of the Autonomous Province, the report of the Review Committee shall also be submitted with the application.

The Construction Permit shall be issued within eight days from the date of a duly submitted application. The Construction Permit shall be issued in the form of a decision. The Main Design shall be an integral part of this decision. The Construction Permit shall particularly contain the data on: 1) The investor; 2) The structure the construction of which is permitted (including the data on the overall dimensions, surface area, capacity, estimated cost); 3) The cadastral lot on which the structure is to be constructed; 4) The period of validity of the Construction Permit and the deadline for completion of construction, 5) The documentation based on which it is issued.

If the competent authority, upon receipt of the application, establishes that the design has not been prepared in compliance with the codes of construction contained in the Location Permit, it shall notify the investor within 8 days and order him to harmonize the design within 30 days. If the investor fails to do so within the stipulated time, the application shall be rejected.

An appeal may be lodged against the decision on the Construction Permit within 8 days. The ministry in charge of civil engineering affairs shall decide on an appeal against the decision on the Construction Permit of a unit of local self-government. The Autonomous Province has been entrusted to decide on an appeal against the first-instance decision on the Construction Permit of a unit of local self-government, handed down for construction of structures, which are to be constructed in the territory of the Autonomous Province. The City of Belgrade shall decide on an appeal against the first-instance decision on the Construction Permit handed down for the construction or reconstruction of structures of up to 800 m of gross floor area, in the territory of the City of Belgrade. (*138)

The Construction Permit shall cease to be valid, unless the construction of the structure is commenced within two years as of the date of legal validity of the decision.

Construction of a Structure and Technical Inspection of the Structure

The Investor should carry out a series of activities for construction of a structure. The Investor shall report to the authority, which has issued the Construction Permit, and to the competent building inspector, the commencement of construction of the structure, 8 days prior to the commencement of carrying out of the work. If the Construction Permit has been issued by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, or by the competent authority of the Autonomous Province, the report shall also be submitted to the building inspectorate the territory of which includes the location of the structure, for which the report on commencement of carrying out of the works shall be submitted. The report shall contain the date of commencement and the deadline for completion of construction, or of carrying out of the work.

Prior to the commencement of construction, the investor shall carry out: marking of the building plot, regulation, leveling, and building lines, in compliance with the regulations governing carrying out of surveying; marking of the construction site with an adequate panel, which shall contain: data on the structure that is being constructed, the investor, the designer-in-charge, the number of the Construction Permit, the contractor, the date of commencement of construction, and the deadline for completion of construction.

Construction of structures, or execution of the works may be carried out by a company, or by an entrepreneur, registered in the relevant registry for construction of structures, or for carrying out of work (hereinafter referred to as: the contractor). Construction of a structure, or execution of the works referred to in Article 133, paragraph 2 of the Law on Planning and Construction, may be carried out by a company, or by another legal entity, which is registered in the relevant registry for construction of such type of structures, or for carrying out of that type of work, which has employed persons with the license for the contractor-in-charge and adequate professional results, or which has the license for construction of structures for which the approval for construction is issued by the ministry, or by the Autonomous Province.

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Obligations of the contractor shall be as follows: prior to the commencement of the work, to sign the main design, to issue a decision designating the contractor-in-charge, to provide, to the contractor-in-charge, the construction contract and the documentation based on which the structure shall be constructed, to provide preventive measures for safe and sanitary work in compliance with the law. The contractor shall: carry out the work according to the documentation based on which the Building Permit has been issued, organize the construction site in the manner, which will ensure access to the location, ensure safety of the structure and persons at the construction site and its environs, provide evidence of the quality of the work carried out, keep the daily progress record, the program and progress record, and provide the inspection book, secure the structures and environs in case of suspension of the work. At the construction site, it is necessary to have the construction contract, the Decision on designation of the main contractor, and the main design at all times, i.e. the documentation based on which the project is developed. The investor shall provide supervision in the course of construction of the structure, or execution of the works for which the Construction Permit has been issued.

Supervision may be exercised by an individual, who fulfils the requirements prescribed by the Law on Planning and Construction for the designer-in-charge or the contractor-in-charge. The persons, who are employed in a company, or in another legal entity or in an entrepreneur’s shop, which is the contractor on that structure, the persons, who exercise the inspection supervision, and the persons, who work on the tasks of issuing of the Construction Permits in the authority in charge of issuing the Construction Permit, may not participate in exercising the supervision over the structure.

Fitness of a structure for use shall be established through technical inspection. Technical inspection of a structure shall be carried out upon completion of construction of the structure, within 30 days as of the date of submitting the Application for the technical inspection of the structure – to the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, or to the competent authority of the Autonomous Province, or to the competent authority of the local self-government (to the authority in charge of civil engineering affairs).

Technical inspection of the structures, for which the Construction Permit has been issued by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, shall be carried out by the commission formed by the Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning or by a company, or by another legal entity, which has been entrusted to carry out such tasks and which is registered in the relevant registry for engaging in such activities.

Technical inspection of the structure, for which the Construction Permit has been issued by the competent authority of the Autonomous Province, shall be carried out by the commission formed by that authority or by a company, or by another legal entity, which has been entrusted to carry out such tasks and which is registered in the relevant registry for engaging in such activities. Technical inspection of the structure, for which the Construction Permit has been issued by a unit of local self-government, shall be carried out by the commission formed by the authority in charge of the civil engineering affairs within the unit of local self-government or by a company, or by another legal entity, which has been entrusted to carrying out such tasks and which is registered in the relevant registry for engaging in such activities.

Technical inspection of a structure shall be ensured by the investor, in compliance with the law. The Commission shall issue its Report/Finding on the technical inspection. In case of the facilities for which the environmental impact assessment study has been made, a person, who is an expert in the area that is the subject of the study, and who has acquired higher education in an adequate field, or at a course, at the postgraduate academic studies - master, specialist academic studies, or at undergraduate studies lasting minimum five years, must participate in carrying out of the technical inspection. The costs of the work of the Commission shall be paid by the investor. Minutes shall be taken of the technical inspection, which shall be signed by the members of the commission. (*139)

If, for the purpose of establishing the fitness of a structure for use, previous tests must be performed and checking of installations, equipment, plants, stability or safety of the structure, equipment, and plants for environmental protection, equipment for fire prevention or other tests, or if that is stipulated in the technical documentation, the commission for technical inspection, or the economic operator or another legal entity, who has been entrusted to carry out the technical inspection, may propose to the competent authority to allow setting of the facility into trial operation, provided it has established that the requirements for that have been met.

The decision on approval for setting the facility into trial operation shall specify the duration of the trial operation, which may not exceed one year, as well as the obligation of the investor to monitor the results of the trial operation and, upon the expiry of the trial operation period, to submit the data on its results to the competent authority.

The commission for technical inspection, or the economic operator or another legal entity to whom carrying out of the technical inspection has been entrusted, in the course of the trial operation of the facility, shall verify whether the requirements for issuing the Operating Permit have been met and, upon expiry of the deadline for the trial operation, it shall submit its report to the authority in charge of issuing of the Operating Permit.

Operating Permit

A facility may be used after the Operating Permit has been previously obtained. The authority of a unit of local self-government (city/town, municipality) in charge of issuing the approval for construction shall issue the Operating Permit, if the subject power plant has a capacity of up to 10 MW. When the power plant structure is located in protected environs of an outstanding immovable cultural asset and cultural assets registered in the Lists of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and of structures in protected areas in compliance with the decision on protection of cultural assets, as well as of structures within the boundaries of a national park and of structures within the boundaries of protection of a protected outstanding natural asset, in compliance with the law, for the power plant facilities using renewable resources and having or exceeding 50m in height, for the power facilities having or exceeding 10 MW, as well as for combined heat-and-power plants), the relevant authority is the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, respectively the relevant authority of the Autonomous Province, if the facility is located in its territory.

The Operating Permit shall be issued when it is established that the facility or a part of the facility, which can be independently used – is fit for use. The Operating Permit shall be issued within seven days from the date of receipt of the finding of the commission, which stipulates that the facility is fit for use. The Operating Permit shall also contain the warranty period for the facility and certain types of works specified in a special regulation. (*140)

The procedure for obtaining the Operating Permit involves two stages. An appeal may be lodged within 15 days as of the date of submitting the decision. An appeal against the decision on the Operating Permit of a unit of local self-government shall be decided on by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, or by the competent authority of the Autonomous Province, or by the competent authority of the City of Belgrade (for construction or reconstruction of structures of up to 800 m² of gross floor area), if the structure is located in the territory of the Autonomous Province, or of the City of Belgrade.
An administrative suit may be instituted by action against the decision on the Operating Permit issued by the ministry in charge of town planning affairs, or by the competent authority of the Autonomous Province, within 30 days from the date of receipt of the decision.

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Details of Relevant Legislation

(*131) There is an ambiguity in the regulations regarding the issuing of the Construction Permit for power plants below 1 MW, because the Law on Planning and Construction stipulates that this decision for energy facilities is issued in compliance with the energy license and other prescribed documentation, and the energy license, subject to the Energy Law, is not issued for these facilities. This means that the Construction Permit for small power plants of up to 1 MW shall be issued in compliance with all the documents specified by the Law on Planning and Construction, except for the energy license.

(*132) The preliminary design shall contain the layout plan and the data on: 1) The micro-location of the structure; 2) Functional, structural, and form-relevant characteristics of the structure; 3) Technical, technological, and exploitation characteristics of the structure; 4) Engineering, geological, and geotechnical characteristics of the terrain and soil including the preliminary analysis of stability and safety of the structure; 5) The design of the foundation of the structure; 6) Technical, technological, and organizational elements of construction of the structure; 7) Measures for prevention or reduction of negative impacts on the environment; 8) Conceptual design of the infrastructure; 9) Comparative analysis of the variant technical solutions from the aspect of properties of the soil, functionality, stability, assessment of the impact on the environment, natural and immovable cultural assets, rationality of construction and exploitation, the amount of the costs of construction, transportation, maintenance, providing of power, and other costs.

(*133) The main design shall contain, in particular: 1) The layout plan; 2) Detailed engineering, geological, and geotechnical requirements for construction of the structure; 3) Topographical surveying documents; 4) Data on the functional, structural, and form-relevant characteristics of the structure; 5) Elaboration of technical and technological characteristics of the structure including the equipment and installations; 6) Computation of engineering structures, stability, and safety of the structure; 7) The design of the foundation of the structure; 8) Data on the required surveying in the course of construction; 9) Technical solution of the infrastructure including the method of service connections and landscaping of free areas; 10) Requirements for protection of the structure and adjacent structures; 11) Technical and technological and organizational solutions for construction of the structure; 12) Elaboration of the measures for prevention or mitigation of negative impacts on the environment through the adequate technological process; 13) Costs of construction and maintenance of the structure; 14) Other designs, studies, and data depending on the use of the structure.

(*134) The preliminary feasibility study specifies the spatial, environmental, social, financial, market, and economic justifiability of the investment for the optional solutions defined in the general design, based on which the planning document shall be adopted, as well as the decision on justifiability of the investment in preliminary work for the Preliminary Design and for making the Feasibility Study. It is mandatory for the structures referred to in Article 133 of the Law on Planning and Construction, which include the facilities for energy generation from renewable energy sources having a capacity equal to or exceeding 10 MW, as well as combined heat-and-power plants.

(*135) The feasibility study determines the spatial, environmental, social, financial, market, and economic justifiability of the investment for the selected solution, elaborated in the preliminary design, based on which the decision on justifiability of the investment shall be handed down. It is mandatory for the structures referred to in Article 133 of the Law on Planning and Construction, which include the facilities for power generation from renewable energy sources having a capacity equal to or exceeding 10 MW, as well as combined heat-and-power plants.

(*136) Article 119, paragraph 4 of the Law on Planning and Construction. One should particularly take into account that Article 10, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Law on Nature Protection shall be applied to the projects that may have impact on the integrity of an ecologically important area from the aspect of the objectives of its preservation, where it is stipulated that the same structures shall be subject to the approval by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, with the mandatory opinion of the Institute for Nature Conservation.

(*137) If the Report on the completed review of the Main Design is positive, i.e. there are no remarks that would give rise to the amendment of the design documentation, the authorized entity shall affix its seal evidencing the completed review, which shall be signed by the designer in charge of the review on the actual design - on the first page thereof.

(*138) The Law on Planning and Construction does not stipulate a legal remedy when the decision on the Construction Permit has been issued by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning or by the competent authority of the Autonomous Province. An administrative suit may be instituted against such decisions.

(*139) By virtue of Article 31, paragraph 2 of the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment, the competent authority, which has managed the procedure of impact assessment, shall appoint the person, who shall participate in the work of the commission for technical inspection. This appointed person may be employed or appointed in the competent authority, or in another authority and organization or may be an independent expert, who possesses evidence of the professional background for participation in the work of the technical commission referred to in Article 22 of this Law. The inspection certificate may not be issued if such appointed person does not confirm that the requirements from the Decision on Giving the Approval on the Impact Assessment Study have been fulfilled, in case the Decision has been handed down that the Study must be made.

(*140) The Decision on Minimum Warranty Periods for Certain Types of Constructed Investment Projects or Works Carried Out on Such Structures (Official Herald of SRS, No. 2/74).

Note: This text is taken from the document-guide for investors "Construction of Plants and Heat/Electricity Generation from Hydrogeothermal Resources in the Republic of Serbia", of which authors are Dr. Branislava Lepotic Kovacevic, PhD Law, Stanislan Milosavljevic, BSc M. Eng, and Bojan Lazarevic, BSc El. Eng.

The project was implemented under the patronage of USAID, GTZ / GIZ Serbia and the Ministry of Energy in 2010.

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