Responsible and sustainable projects: The plan is for total environmental investments to reach 1.2 billion euros in the coming years
Environmental protection and increasing the share of renewable energy sources in electricity production are an important part of the strategy of Electric Power Industry of Serbia. Every investment project includes environmental measures as part of responsible and sustainable business. So far, about 540 million euros have been invested in projects improving the quality of air, water and soil, and thus EPS has taken a leading position among investors in environmental protection in Serbia. The largest Serbian energy company will continue on the Green Road in the coming years, and additional environmental investments are planned in a number of projects protecting and improving environmental quality. The plan is for total environmental investments to reach 1.2 billion euros in the coming years.
The largest environmental projects, currently in progress, are flue gas desulphurization plants. Electric Power Industry of Serbia will invest around 610 million euros in the construction of these systems in thermal power plants. So far, the project worth 96 million euros in TPP Kostolac B has been completed, which lowered sulphur dioxide emissions below the limit of 200 mg/m2. Implementation of projects in TENT A and TENT B, the largest thermal power plants in Serbia, producing more than half of the electricity for the Serbian market, is in progress. The fact that introducing desulphurization systems on the four strongest TENT A units includes the construction of as many as 42 facilities speaks volumes about how complex these projects are. The entire project is worth about 217 million euros. At the beginning of December 2020, the cornerstone was laid for the desulphurization plant in the thermal power plant Nikola Tesla B. That system will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by about 20 times. The project is valued at 210 million euros, and about 120 million euros will go to local companies. The plan is to invest an additional 100 million euros in three more projects in TPP Kostolac A, TPP Kostolac B and Vreoci Heating Plant by 2027. This will reduce CO2 emissions below strict European criteria.
Desulphurization projects and other measures to reduce air emissions guarantee the durability and survival of the entire energy system of Serbia. EPS’s investments in environmental protection will reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide by 90 percent, nitrogen oxides by 45 percent and powdery substances by 95 percent by 2025.
Investments in new hydro projects are the focus of EPS development, thus fulfilling the obligations to increase its RES share. Together with Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske, after three decades, EPS, as a foreign investor, is participating in the project of building three new HPPs on the Drina, with a capacity of 180 megawatts. The project has been thoroughly prepared, in compliance with legal and technical procedures, local laws and international standards.
Modernisations of hydro capacities continue. The largest hydroelectric power plant in Serbia, HPP Djerdap 1, will increase its capacity by about 10 percent and extend its operating life by 40 years after revitalisation. The plan is for the last, sixth phase, to begin this year. After the first Djerdap hydroelectric power plant has been retrofitted, the revitalization of all 10 units of HPP Djerdap 2 should begin. Thus, EPS will get about 50 new megawatts of electricity production capacity on the Danube.
The construction of the first EPS wind farm, with a capacity of 66 megawatts in Kostolac, is also being prepared. The value of the project is around 100 million euros, and the expected annual production is around 150 million kWh.
In addition to investing in environmental and renewable energy projects, EPS invests in maintaining and developing its system every year. In 2020 alone, investments reached almost half a billion euros, and in the last five years, EPS development projects were worth about two billion euros.
ZelEPS for environmental responsibility
As a pioneer, two years ago, EPS started selling green energy to customers on the free market. It is energy produced in EPS hydroelectric power plants, and every kilowatt hour from the ZelEPS package has a guarantee of origin. Green energy sold with a guarantee of origin in 2020 was ten times higher than in 2019.