Emissions of sulfur dioxide from the Kostolac B thermal power plant during 2018, 2019 and 2020, exceeded the maximum allowed values prescribed by the National Emission Reduction Plan (NERP). Instead of reducing emissions, TPP Kostolac B in 2020 emitted almost 16,000 tons more sulfur dioxide than in 2019.
According to the daily newspaper Politika and the Ministry of Mining and Energy itself, Minister Zorana Mihajlovic said yesterday in Kostolac that “emissions of sulfur dioxide and particular matters are lower than those in the European Union and that they are in line with what the Energy Community has prescribed.”
However, although the desulphurization plant at TPP Kostolac B was built in 2017, it did not contribute to the reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions into the air during 2018, 2019 and 2020. TPP Kostolac B emitted 113.913 tons of sulfur dioxide in 2018, 79.113 tons in 2019, and 95.097 tons in 2020. The sulfur dioxide emission ceiling for TPP Kostolac B according to the NERP is 7.957 tons, while the emissions for all twelve thermal power plants covered by the NERP are limited to a maximum of 54.575 tons per year.
During 2018, 2019, but also in 2020, PE EPS did not adhere to the prescribed obligations, and has been greatly exceeding the emission ceilings for sulfur dioxide every year since the beginning of the NERP application. Thus, instead of significantly reducing sulfur dioxide emissions, in 2020 EPS’s TPPs covered by the NERP emitted 333.603 tons, which is around 24,022 tons of sulfur dioxide more than in 2019.
In March 2021, the Secretariat of the Energy Community initiated proceedings against the Republic of Serbia due to the fact that large TPPs in Serbia, including Kostolac B, did not comply with the emissions prescribed by the NERP, and during 2018 and 2019 emitted 6 times more sulfur dioxide than prescribed.
In January, RERI filed a lawsuit to the Higher Court in Belgrade against PE “Elektroprivreda Srbije” for endangering the health of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia due to multiple exceeding of permitted sulfur dioxide emissions from thermal power plants Nikola Tesla and Kostolac.
Bearing in mind that the desulphurization plant in TPP Kostolac B is currently in trial operation, starting from 23 October 2020, RERI emphasizes that the statements of the highest state officials that it meets the highest environmental standards are premature in the slightest, because the expert commission has not yet determined that the desulphurization plant is suitable for use at all.
* National Emission Reduction Plan (NERP) is a document that prescribes the annual emission ceilings of pollutants from large thermal power plants.