Serbia Leaping into the Future, and Two Million People Still Don’t Have a Sewer Connection – 2023 Retrospective, Investments in ECOLOGY

Source: eKapija Monday, 29.01.2024. 15:39
(Photo: John Kasawa/
Serbia is leaping into the future, although it still doesn’t have a sewer system. But, there’s “Clean Serbia”, a project with a promising title and goals, which plans to connect 2.36 million to the sewer network. The price? A bargain – over EUR 3.5 billion.

Within the project, sewer systems will be done in 73 municipalities, 157 waste water treatment facilities will be built, five million square meters of sewer pipes will be laid down, it has been announced. In Belgrade, five facilities are planned, and the construction of the first waste water treatment plant is to begin in Veliko Selo.

The capital of Serbia also got the first industrial biological facility for the treatment of waste waters in September, and some other ecological stories that were the most read on our portal include the report about the green projects in the Cukaru Peki mine, the announcement of the introduction of energy passports for all buildings in Serbia, as well as the adoption of the Program of Managing Sludge in the Republic of Serbia for 2023-2032.

We bring the list of the ten investments in ecology that drew the most attention from our readers.

1. Interceptor and WWTF Veliko Selo Belgrade

The construction of the first waste water treatment facility in Belgrade begins in Veliko Selo in 2023, it was announced at the beginning of last year. A total of five such facilities are planned in the capital of Serbia.

The first factory, in Veliko Selo, will also be the biggest one and cover the needs of 1.3 million people.

The Government of Serbia, the City of Belgrade, and the Chinese company China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) signed, in January 2020, the agreement on the project of the collection and treatment of the waste waters of the Central Sewer System of the City of Belgrade.

The value of the first phase of the works amounts to around EUR 272 million, whereas for the other phase, that is, the completion of the WWTF “Veliko Selo”, which encompasses the extension of the water line and the construction of a sludge line, EUR 500 to 600 million will be required.
(Photo: Vastram/

2. Clean Serbia Project

The minister of construction, transport and infrastructure of Serbia, Goran Vesic, the director of the Chinese company China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), Yang Dong, and representatives of eight local self-governments signed annexes within the second phase of the Clean Serbia project in May.

The total value of the projects in the second phase is slightly over EUR 213 million, whereas the length of the sewer pipes is 444 kilometers, Vesic specified and announced that the third phase would be done in 2024 and that the whole project was worth over EUR 3.5 billion.

Within the project, sewer systems will be built in a total of 73 municipalities, in 89 locations, and then also 157 waste water treatment facilities, a total of five million meters of sewer pipes will be installed, so close to 2.36 million people will get a sewer connection, the minister announced.

3. Waste Water Treatment Facility Krnjaca Belgrade

The procurement procedure for the construction of a sewer system in Krnjaca didn’t succeed last year either. The tender for the first phase of the construction of this plant in Krnjaca, which was opened by the Belgrade Land Development Public Agency and the EU Delegation to Serbia, had been published on two occasions, but was not awarded even after a year since the opening of the second public procurement procedure.

The reason for repeating the first procurement procedure was initially not announced, but the then deputy mayor of Belgrade, Goran Vesic, later said that the problem was with the clause on increasing the price of the job.

4. Cukaru Peki – Ecological Projects

Many would say that mining and ecology don’t go together, but not the heads of the Cukaru Peki mine in Bor, who point out that, of some USD 670 million in investments, which is how much they have had so far, they have set aside 10% for ecology.

(Photo: eKapija / Aleksandra Kekić)
They are planning an investment in solar power plants, as well as the expansion of green areas. The aim is to form a green ring around the mine, so as to show that mining and ecology can go hand in hand. To our reporter, who visited them last year, they revealed that the Cukaru Peki mine was specific for being the only mine in Serbia to do the specific form of mining through filling out the underground spaces.

5. First Industrial Biological Facility for Waste Water Treatment Smurfit Kappa Belgrade

In September, Belgrade got the first industrial biological facility for the treatment of waste waters. The Irish company Smurfit Kappa, opened the facility at Ada Huja, which would filter the water from the Danube used for industrial needs using biological treatment and pour it back into the river cleaner than when it was taken from the river.

6. Energy Passports for All Buildings in Serbia

The amendments to the Law on Planning and Construction have introduced a new obligation: all buildings, regardless of age, will have to have an energy passport. An energy passport contains data on the energy grade that the facility belongs to by its energy consumption, and there are eight such grades.

The most energy efficient buildings save the most energy for heating and cooling and have the A+ tag, and the lowest grade is G. That document is part of the technical documentation and also conditions the investors.

Research shows that 85% of the residential buildings do not meet the energy efficiency requirements.

7. Waste Water Treatment Facility Bela Palanka

At the end of last year, the Ministry of Environmental Protection published the tender for the preparation of the project-technical documentation and construction of a waste water treatment facility in Bela Palanka. The value of the works has not been stated, and according to the tendering documentation, the project will be financed with a loan from the Council of Europe Development Bank.

The construction of the waste water treatment facility in Bela Palanka started back in 1987. In 2005, some facilities were reconstructed and new ones were built. Today, the WWTF is not operational, and the facilities are in a pretty bad condition.

8. Sludge Management Program in Serbia

Last year, the Government of Serbia adopted the Program of Managing Sludge in the Republic of Serbia for 2023-2032. The aim of this important planning document which is adopted in Serbia for the first time is to establish a safe, sustainable and cost-effective system of the management of the sludge from municipal waste water treatment facilities, as pointed out by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

According to this document, the solving of the issue of sludge management will be in line with the principles of circular economy and EU regulations, and the aim is to ensure the usage of sludge as a resource over a longer time period.

9. WWTF Obrenovac

Obrenovac is to get a waste water treatment facility and another 100 km of sewer as well, as envisaged in the Spatial Plan. The total number of the residents connected to the sewer system at the end of the project period is expected to be around 50,400.

In the municipality of Obrenovac, there are around 130 km of the sewer network, and another 99.5 km or so needs to be built.

The location of the WWTF Obrenovac, envisaged in the construction project, is along the right bank of the river Kolubara.

The technology of the Hungarian company INWATECH is intended for the facility.
(Photo: hxdyl/

10. Waste Water Treatment Facility at TENT B

At the beginning of the year, the Ministry of Environmental Protection notified the public that it had given approval to the Environmental Impact Assessment Study of the project of the construction of the waste water treatment facility at the complex of the Thermal Power Plant Nikola Tesla B.

The project entails the construction of a decentralized facility for the collection, directing and treating waters polluted with sludge, oil, coal, rainwater, sanitary waters from the blocks B1 and B2, as well as the waste waters from the future facility for the desulfuring of smoke gases and pouring out the treated waters of the TPP Nikola Tesla B.

We presented the 10 investments which drew the most attention from our readers when it comes to ecology. Make sure to take a look at the full list HERE.


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