Application of EU LawNERPWestern Balkan

New Report of the Bankwatch: Western Balkan Coal Plants Pollute the Air Six Times more than Allowed


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Bankwatch Network, 10.12.2019.

Kostolac B is the largest sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollutant in the region, despite the installation of a
desulphurisation facility, according to new CEE Bankwatch research published today.

The report is available HERE.

In 2018, total sulfur dioxide emissions from coal power plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo,
North Macedonia and Serbia were more than 6 (six) times higher than allowed by the National
Emissions Reduction Plans (1) submitted to the Energy Community Secretariat. In Serbia, SO2
emissions were 6.16 times higher than the emission limit value set by the National Emission
Reduction Plan.

On the individual coal power plants level, the largest pollutant is Kostolac B, whose SO2 emissions
were as much as 14 times (113,913 tons) higher than allowed by the National Plan for that plant.
Nikola Tesla B thermal power plant, which emitted 89,045 tons of SO2, is on the second place.

The Kostolac B power plant itself emitted more sulfur dioxide than allowed for the entire region,
despite being the only power plant in the region to have a new desulphurization facility – allegedly
commissioned as early as July 2017
. CMEC (China Machinery and Engineering Corporation),
which built the facility, is currently building a new unit Kostolac B3.

All Western Balkan countries are members of the Energy Community, and therefore, had an
obligation to reduce pollution from power plants by 2018 in accordance with the Large
Combustion Plants Directive
. However, none of the countries that drafted the National Emission
Reduction Plan complied with the maximum annual emission values for 2018.

It remains unclear what went wrong with the investment in the desulphurization for Kostolac B,
but the situation needs to be addressed urgently
,” emphasized Kalmar Zvezdan of the Center for
Ecology and Sustainable Development (CEKOR), “How is it possible for the same company to
build a new Kostolac B3 block while the desulphurization plant it has already built at the same
site has not been operational for more than 2 years after completion of the work
?”

Serbia cannot continue this way. Investments in reducing pollution are urgently needed, but at
the same time, Serbia must invest heavily in energy efficiency to reduce energy consumption and
create the possibility for shutting down old coal power plants, which are the biggest air
pollutants
”, added Kalmar.

Energy Community countries had 12 years to comply with the limit values set out in the Large
Combustion Plants Directive, so it is unacceptable and it is for any condemnation that the
authorities in the region have neglected this problem. Considering the health damage that air
pollution causes, investing in reducing emissions or shutting down a power plant is not only a
matter of legal but also a moral obligation
”, concludes Ioana Ciuta, Energy Coordinator at CEE
Bankwatch and one of the report’s authors.

The Bankwatch Network Air Pollution Analysis can be downloaded HERE.

Contacts:

Kalmar Zvezdan, Center for Ecology and Sustainable Development, +381655523191,vodana@gmail.com
Ognjan Pantić, Belgrade Open School, +381616201276, ognjan.pantic@bos.rs
Pippa Gallop, CEE Bankwatch Network, +385997559787, pippa.gallop@bankwatch.org

Additional information for editors:

The National Emissions Reduction Plan (NERP) is one of the mechanisms for meeting the goals
of the Large Combustion Plants Directive, which Serbia has chosen in order to align its
emissions from large combustion plants with the Directive.

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